Let’s face it. As a business leader, you wear many hats. You have a number of daily tasks required to run your business and may overlook the very few things in your business that actually bring in cash flow.
One of the most important and often overlooked areas that instantly generate revenue is follow up. I am astounded by the number of people who don’t have a follow up system for their customers or clients. There is so much money left on the table by lack of follow up and follow through.
Recently, my husband and I decided to have some work done on our house. We started the process over six months ago, making inquiry after inquiry to contractors.
Out of eight contractors we talked with personally, guess how many of them followed up with a phone call or email once they sent us their proposal.
The number of contractors that called or emailed to follow up on their proposal was zero.
Follow up is very easy. You can even use a system you use every day: your email system.
There are times where I need to follow up with someone. In those cases where I’m following up, I write the email immediately and use the Delay Delivery Feature to send my email on the agreed upon follow up date. I also blind copy myself and my assistant so we know the email was sent. This same process is also convenient and easy to use when you need to follow up with a vendor or employee.
With a click of a button, you could easily send a pre-programmed series of emails that would prompt a decision or even conversation with your customer or client. You could even have a yes, no or undecided button for the customer to provide instant feedback on your proposal.
When I was first starting my business, I used a simple spreadsheet to track where my speaking proposals were in my approval process. Once you get into volume, you will need a sophisticated customer relationship management system (CRM).
CRMs vary and many have built in autoresponders. Systems with the autoresponders have the capability of sending automated messages that help you keep in touch and follow up with your customers. Some other simple customer relationship management systems include Pipe Drive, InfusionSoft, and KickStartCart.
Not all systems have the same functionality, so make sure you really understand what their specific purpose is and how they will work for your business. When you use these business systems, you’ll see how your investment in them generates revenue for your small business.