I'll repeat that: the money in your business is in the follow up.
And the easier it is for you to follow up, the more money you can make. To make follow up easier, you need automation.
Many businesses go through feast and famine cycles. But guess what – it doesn't have to happen. You can bring in a steady stream of business, in fact that's what you want. Sure you want the level of that stream to raise over time, but for many, having a steady flow of business – leads and customers – is a major goal.
In my first business I ran into a serious famine cycle. I could blame 9-11 or the DC sniper incident or other events, but not everyone didd bad during those times. Why did I? Three reasons:
- I didn't market on a continuous basis
- I didn't have a way to nurture leads over time
- I spent money on the wrong things, namely flashy folders and paper marketing materials
In my second business thing went much better. I hired on employees to do the production part of the business, empowered them to work with clients, and did a lot more marketing. However I still lacked a way to nurture leads. I didn't hit a famine stage, however the flow of business was less than even to say the least.
Today we have the ability to follow up on many different levels. Let's take a look at a two.
Following Up With People That Opt-In
At the core of inbound marketing is content. Some content is free and some requires an opt-in. The trick here is to know the category of content that someone is opting in for, and then sending them information ONLY on that topic.
For instance, if you are a business consultant and have produced an opt-in guide on getting your finances in order, then you wouldn't want to send someone that got that guide information on improving their website. It's irrelevant to that person. They haven't shown any indication that they want or need to improve their website.
If you keep the follow-up information relevant, they are more likely to keep listening.
Following Up With Leads That Aren't Ready To Buy
A huge mistake that I used to make was that I stopped talking with people that didn't buy from me. While not everyone that contacts you is ready to buy right then and there, that doesn't mean they won't buy some time in the future. But if you stop talking with them then they'll never buy from you.
In this instance, you want to have a lead nurturing sequence in place that will continue to send information that is relevant, informative, helpful and entertaining. Then when the person is ready to buy, because you've stayed in touch, you'll be the vendor they choose.
Think About It
Why do so many companies spend millions of dollars on television advertising? To keep their brand in front of you! Pepsi, Apple, Aflack – these companies aren't hurting for customers, but they want more. So they spend the money to stay in front of you so that, when you go to the grocery store and see their product on the shelf, or you got to the mall and see that shiny Apple inviting you to come in, or you're walking in a park and hear the ducks quacking, you think of them.
The same is true of your business, only without the television aspects.
How You Do It
So how do you keep in touch over long periods of time? Automation using software. The combination of content and a customer relationship management (CRM) does the trick. Be sure that whatever you choose to use – I use Infusionsoft – allows you to tag every action someone takes.
You want to know that your lead like this but not that. You want to know that your lead got this ebook but not that one.
If you've got that, something MANY business lack, then not only do you have a serious competitive advantage, you have a marketing system that work for you, not against you.