Published: September 10th, 2019; By: Judi Hughes

Small Business Owners spend way too much time and money meeting new people and trying new things to generate new leads.  Not nearly enough time is invested in identifying and nurturing existing opportunities.

According to a recent Forbes article the average sale requires 7 to 10 positive touch-points before a potential buyer converts into a customer.  And, it’s a known statistic is that 10% of sales happen on the fourth contact while 81% close on or after the 5th follow-up.

These statistics suggest that relationship building is the key to growing your client list and that without follow-up your marketing strategies have little or no value.

Use these six tips to help turn existing relationships into revenue.

  1. Identify the right existing relationships. These are the “diamonds in your own backyard’. Listen to this 2-minute tip on “mining your diamonds”.
    These people might be:
    • Connections from your network who just haven’t bought yet or who have your Ideal Client in their community who could refer you
    • People you know and who have opened your newsletter and expressed interest in your articles
    • Attendees to your webinars or speaking engagements; they were interested enough to invest their time
    • Connections on social media who acknowledge your content and are engaging
    • Clients or suppliers who have referred you in the past
    • Past clients who may need your services again or who will refer you
    • People you have proposed to in the past and they just weren’t ready to buy then
  1. Build your Top Twenty. Dig through your data base, social media connections, calendar, anywhere that will spur your thinking and help you create a list of the twenty people who are going to help you earn or generate revenue in the next 90-days. Watch this video to help you “work” your Top Twenty. (7 minutes)
  2. Keep in regular contact. It is an old and true adage, “out of sight, out of mind”. Pick up the phone and have a conversation. Contact customers who haven’t bought for a while and find out why. Fact is; face to face contact is still the most effective. Meet for lunch, coffee or martini whatever it is, keep in regular contact.
  3. Implement systems and processes to support relationship building. Be intentional about including people on your mailing list and connecting on social media as a means of letting them know who you are and what you stand for and learning more about them.  Set a schedule for regular communication then monitor and manage the engagement so you can follow-up appropriately.
  4. Make the follow-up a priority and a habit. As a business owner you already have a full-time job serving your clients and running your business.  It’s no wonder follow-up activities get dropped. At the end of your week, identify your follow-up activities for the coming week, block time in your calendar and honour it.  Calendar habits to make it easier:
    • Book a networking event, schedule follow-up activities within the same week.
    • Send your newsletter, schedule 30-minutes to review reports to identify past relationships you should be nurturing.
    • Tell someone you are going to follow-up and immediately put it into your calendar for a future date and time.
  5. Let people know what you do and how you can help. Be clear about how you can help and what the next steps will be. Ask permission to take the next step and don’t be afraid to have “the money conversation”. It’s your job to follow-up and make it as easy as possible to buy from you.

Turn your relationships into revenue.

If making money and growing your business are important to you, you must embrace the fact that your fortune is in the follow-up. You must make it a priority. By consistently sticking to a follow-up plan you will build those relationships, you will bring on new clients and you will grow your business.

Find the fortune in your follow-up today!