I have three vendors for home improvement projects that I want to give business to. I have done business with all three in the past. I have reached out to them—some more than once—to schedule a time for them to give me a bid. I am pre-disposed to do business with all three of these vendors. I pay well and I don’t bicker over price.
Not one of the three vendors has called me back.
Now, I’m sure they aren’t so busy, so flush with work, that they don’t want my business. So, why aren’t they calling back?
For most small businesses, the tedious task of follow up is easily delayed to another day. Even in cases like mine where the sale is within arm’s reach, follow up is all too often procrastinated. The end result will be lost jobs and stagnant sales.
I have studied the art of follow up for nearly 15 years. I am absolutely convinced that no other practice, when mastered, will have more impact on the success of a small business. Follow up works. It brings new customers, nurtures existing customers, and restores old customers. It shows you care. And people want to do business with folks who care.
If you have a stack of business cards gnawing at your conscience or emails and voicemails that you aren’t responding to, or perhaps long-time customers you haven’t reached out to in a while, what’s holding you back? If you’re like most business owners, you’re too busy, you don’t have the systems, or you’re not sure how to respond.
SBS Idea of the Day: Find one “black hole” of follow-up failure in your business and create a plan and process to get in touch with those prospects or customers. Better yet, automate that process so your follow up happens automatically. I know a good software tool that can help you do that.