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Managing the Prospect Relationship
by Brian Chmielewski
Increasingly more people are facing the unique challenges associated
with business prospecting as they are "leaving the rat race" for their
own successful cyber-businesses. Internet marketing ranks high among
the toughest fields when it comes to generating new leads and quickly
closing sales from them.
Once a business' online marketing engine is operational, generating
a healthy flow of qualified leads from advertising and web site traffic
generally isn't a problem. The real challenge lies in capitalizing on
that flow of leads in order to drive sales and earn profits.
What's one crucial key to generating maximum profit per lead? Yes,
there is a fortune in follow up contact.
Why Do We Sometimes Neglect the Follow-up?
The typical marketer may send one follow up email, mail out a single
brochure or catalog, make one follow up call, or send out one fax,
and then sit back and wait for the prospect to visit their web site,
place an order, email with further questions, or take another desired
action. Even seasoned marketers that are keenly aware of the value of
follow up sometimes neglect this crucial activity.
Offline follow-up, of course, is more time-consuming and expensive
than online follow up, considering the time and expense involved in
long distance phone and fax calls, mailing or shipping of marketing
materials, and so forth. Due to its speed and extremely low cost,
email could be considered the ideal follow up marketing tool.
However, without an efficient system for implementing email
follow up, problems can still arise.
Why the Need For the Follow-up?
It's a fact that most people typically don't buy (or take other
desired action) as a result of an initial marketing contact, even
if they are perfectly targeted candidates for an offer. It's not
unusual for some follow-up marketing contacts to generate
approximately the same percentage of sales or other desired action
as the initial contact. There are a variety of things that can prevent
prospects from taking desired action as a result of initial marketing
For instance, they may have....
* Accidentally deleted, lost or forgotten about your offer.
* Be considering your offer or procrastinating.
* Been burdened with many other priorities.
* Be distracted by "information overload" or other priorities.
* Felt they have not enough information to make a decision.
* Not enough money to buy at this time.
* No trust in you, for any a number of reasons.
You've probably heard the following cliche before, but it's worth
repeating: "Marketing is a numbers game." The greater number of
contacts you have with a prospect, the greater chance they will
finally act on your offer.
Different prospects will, of course, be at various stages of the
sales process. Some may be just one follow-up contact away from
acting on your offer while other prospects may require several more
meetings or phone calls before they're prepared to make a final
decision about making a financial commitment.
Do you have a process in place to insure properly following-up with the
questions, concerns and information of your prospects? Is this process
long and thorough enough to motivate your real prospects to act on your
Regular communication with prospects may seem like a mundane activity,
but if you want maximum your sales capabilities, you must seriously
consider implementing a systematic follow up system. Otherwise, you're
wasting a significant amount of time and money and investing in giving
your competition the great advantage of closing leads first.