We left you last episode saying we would lay out three ways to follow up after a first meeting to secure the second meeting-ways that will help you feel comfortable and confident as you do it.
Here we go.
Welcome to “3 Takeaways”, your agency new business video series where we focus on one new business category and give you three takeaways to help improve your new business program.
First, this is part 2 of a two-part episode, so go watch episode 81 first and come on back.
OK, we got into three eye-opening stats on the critical nature of prospect follow-up and how often it’s not done well after a first prospect meeting.
And agencies have trouble in several ways with follow-up, even after the first meeting, where, by all accounts, you essentially have permission to follow up if it went well.
Reasons they don’t follow up-
1) Clients get in the way-that’s a terrible reason,
and I say it tounge-in-cheek, but it’s true, the don’t make the time,
2) They give up too easily
-we saw the stat that marketers think agencies don’t follow up enough, and the third, and in my mind the most legitimate-
3) They don’t know what to follow up with, especially after the first follow up.
Which is typically some form of-hey, just checking in. How you guys doing?
And then if there is another follow-up, it’s more meaningless check-ins.
So, how do you go about it in a meaningful way?
You show them what it’s going to be like to work with you, before you even start.
Your first takeaway:
Remind them why they took the first meeting with you.
If they took even 30 minutes of their time to meet with you, they have a need or they saw some sort of value in talking with you.
Their current agency is underperforming.
Or maybe they are interested in implementing a strategy that aligns with your specific strengths.
In any case, your follow-up should help to re-establish their original motivation for having that first meeting.
Your second takeaway:
Provide information and/or insights on something you discussed in the first meeting.
After that first meeting, you should have some sense of the prospect’s pain-points.
As you prepare to follow-up, find a way to offer valuable perspective around something you learned in that first meeting.
Relevant client experience, a piece of content you’ve written, or even a 3rd party news item or a trend relevant to your initial discussion.
Show the prospect that you understand what they told you and demonstrate your resourcefulness.
Now your last takeaway must be kept as a last resort-if you’ve reached out meaningfully in multiple follow-ups and they are just not getting back to you.
It’s the last email follow-up you will send, so make sure you’ve been patient.
If that’s the scenario, you employ the third takeaway-
You go for the nuclear option: guilt.
It’s a powerful tool, and I’m only half-kidding.
If your prospect is really ghosting you, you don’t want to waste your time or theirs.
Some of you watching may have done this, but I’ve seen it used incorrectly and wasted.
You appeal to them, and be direct, and I’ve done this-
Hi Cheryl, I want to make sure I stick with you if it makes sense, but I also don’t want to turn into that sales guy and pester you. I’ll plan on staying with you for now, but please let me know if the timing doesn’t work, I completely understand.
Most prospects will answer at that point, and it may not be the news you want, but at least you can move on.
I will tell you, in my experience, it’s usually not a no at that point-they’re just busy.
But I mention I’ve seen this done incorrectly.
You only use the nuclear option if you’ve had a first meeting, or really, most effectively, after a proposal and now they’re not getting g back to you.
I’ve seen salespeople do this after a 3rd email, they haven’t even talked to me at all.
There’s been no connection, but they’re apologizing and saying well, I guess you’re not interested, or I’ve never gotten through to you, so I guess I’ll move on.
I’m sure you’ve received those emails-it’s a terrible sales technique.
There’s no connection with me yet, so you just come from a place of weakness at that point.
So don’t be afraid of the follow-up, especially after that first meeting.
Thanks for watching 3 Takeaways-lots of new business content our site at rswus.com, just hit the resources drop down.