I was watching a revolving door in a lobby of a hotel as the people went in and out. There were people of all shapes and sizes. One man was talking loudly on his cell phone, and a lady came through the door with a dog in her purse!
As I was standing there watching the flow of people move in and out of the building my mind turned to marketing. I couldn’t help but wondering if the hotel was doing everything it could to maximize the revenue from every customer walking in and out of those revolving doors.
The best (and most profitable) businesses are experts at making sure that they are getting the most money they can from every lead and every customer. It’s what makes the difference between an OK business and one that REALLY stands out in the marketplace.
If you can maximize your revenue per lead and per customer then your profits suddenly sky-rocket and the possibilities open up to you.
Businesses do this with follow up systems.
- They upsell people on premium services – ex: room upgrades and room service
- They get people to come back again and again – ex: loyalty cards with free room perks
- They keep in contact with their leads -who aren’t customers yet and educate them about their services.
It used to be that only big businesses could afford follow up systems that got the customers buying more, doing more, and engaging more, but that’s no longer the case.
Now even the smallest operations can dramatically increase their value per lead and value for customers with automated follow up systems.
By using follow up systems to engage your prospects and sell more to your customers you can potentially triple or quadruple your revenue. And if you don’t have a business yet, then by starting out with an understanding of follow up systems and how they can increase your bottom line you have a much better chance of becoming profitable.
Follow up systems for small businesses.
Your follow up system can be simple or complex. But one of the easiest ways to implement a high quality (and completely automated) follow up system is through email marketing. When you keep in touch with your customers via email you stay top of mind and they start to trust you (if you do it right).
That means more sales, the ability to sell bigger ticket items, and a better reputation in your marketplace.
But… some marketers and business owners think that following up involves getting your customer’s email address and pounding them over and over again with offers. You CAN do this, but it is annoying to the customer and burns out your hard won prospects really quickly.
This is called “churn and burn” and it is not what I recommend for your prospects. If you’ve ever experienced a marketer doing this to you, you know what I’m talking about.
Instead, you want to develop a relationship with your prospects and your customers. To do this you just need to follow three simple steps:
#1. Give your customers value in EVERYTHING you do – from reports, to emails, to sales pitches. Every piece of follow up should be valuable to your customers.
When I’m talking about value, I mean value. Does your content inform, educate, or entertain? Is it provocative and interesting? Does your customer relate to it and want to consume more of it?
Lots of people worry that if they give too much value upfront, then no-one will buy their products because they’ve already given everything away. But this simply isn’t true. When you give away valuable content (like I am here), you gain your readers trust and interest.
They are more likely to buy from you because they perceive you as an expert in your field.
So when you’re writing emails and other follow up content make sure to educate, inform, and entertain. It is a great way to ensure your success.
#2. Create suspense. Of all the skills that you can master in business, this is one of the most important. By creating suspense in what you do, you develop a crazy fan base who drools to open your emails, buys everything you recommend and in general loves you like you are their long lost sweetheart.
Creating suspense is one of my favorite ways to do follow up with customers and prospects both (and no-one is better at teaching this than my friend Andre Chaperon).
You create suspense by pulling a story line or series of teaching over several different emails or contact points with your customer. You tease them a little and don’t give them everything at once.
Think about TV series like Lost, 24, or any soap opera and you’ll get the idea.
When you give people a sneak peek into what you are going to say next they are more likely to engage with you. That means higher open email rates… more sales… happier customers. All of which make your business more profitable and more fun.
#3. Use stories. I’m not sure why stories are so powerful, but they are. When you tell stories your customers will be far more engaged. And the funny thing is they don’t have to be first person stories.
One of my marketing friends uses customer composites (and tells people that’s what they are). Another friend uses celebrity stories with great success.
When you’re telling stories you want to create a bridge between the story and your point. So if you are selling a product and you want to encourage people to stay focused on their goals you could tell the story of Lady Gaga and how as a young woman she earned a baby grand piano by practicing a piece of music she didn’t really like all that much.
If you want to talk with people about how weight loss really works you can tell a story of your customer (tell them it’s a composite person based on your real customers) and how he is using a specific technique that you teach to stay away from the Oreos.
Stories lend themselves very well to creating suspense as well.
When it comes to following up with your customers and prospects doing it well is the difference between having average results and being able to sky-rocket your profits on the backend.
- Brian T. Edmondson
P.S. Some people are naturals at follow up, but I wasn’t (and learning this skill set changed my business).
I learned from Andre Chaperon, who is one of the best people at follow up in the world. Right now Andre has version 3 of his AutoResponder Madness course open. It doesn’t open all the time, so if this is something you are interested in mastering, you’ll definitely want to check his course out.