Effective Follow Through happens every four to six weeks – 10 to 12 times a year,
and rotates through Verbal (what they hear) Visual (what they see) and Hand-to-Hand (in person)
until you identify their preference. From that point on, all follow through is in their preferred modality.
People have preferences.
Build an inventory of ways you are willing to follow through in each preference.
The follow through has to be about them — but you have to do it.
Don’t put anything on your inventory that you won’t do. (I know I won’t send birthday cards.)
Print these three worksheets: Verbal Follow Through Inventory Visual Follow Through Inventory Hand-to-Hand Follow Through Inventory
You’ll want these tools:
1: A card file box (that is attractive to you) with monthly index tabs.
I like this one, from Container Store, because it already has the monthly sections.
Put January in the back,
and December in the front.
4: a mini stapler, and
5: a pen.
That’s it for tools.
Why the colored cards?
Make each color mean something to you.
The blue could be people you meet at the Chamber, yellow is Rotary, pink is Board of Realtors.
Or perhaps green will be people you think are prospects, yellow could be potential GateOpeners.
If you’ve done the Best Client work, and you know who your GateOpeners are, each color could indicate a different GateOpener classification, and the white cards could be for everyone else.
You’ll never be able to follow through with everybody.
Use color to make it easy to choose.
- When you return from an event take the business cards you collected; staple each one in the upper left corner of the appropriate colored index card.
- Jot a one-line note on the index card: the date and a few words to remind you what to follow through about. (1/2/17 – Invitational, trip to Tucson.)
- File the card behind this month’s index tab. January. You do not have to put them in any order – just put them in this month.
- On the first business day of next month, February, pull out three cards from the previous month and follow through verbally (by phone) or visually (text, email, note). Jot a note with the date, your action, and topic on the card. (I use vm for voice mail, em for email, don’t spend a lot of time writing) Put a colored tape flag on the top of the card that shows whether you followed through verbally or visually. My green tape flag means writing, (green=tree=paper, get it?) red flag means telephone (because that’s my least favorite) and yellow is for in person.
- Now file the card in this month’s section.
- Follow through like this with three cards every day.
What if I run out of cards?
Go to a networking event and meet new people!
What if I’m going to be out of the office all day?
Choose cards that need a phone call next, if that’s going to be easy while you’re waiting between appointments. Traveling for a three days? Take nine cards with you.
How do I know which cards to pick?
Doesn’t matter. Really. It doesn’t – well . . .
The color of the card tells you what category this person falls in for you, the tape flag on the top tells you which touch this is, and what the next modality needs to be. Three tape flags means this is going to be touch five – I’m prioritizing him. And if this is going to be touch two, I’ll prioritize that. Seven? not missing him.
Do I put a yellow tape flag on every card when I first staple the business card on?
I don’t. I know the first touch was Hand-to-Hand or I wouldn’t have gotten the card – so I don’t waste a yellow, I just know there is one fewer tape flags than the number of touches. But if you’d like to put a yellow tape flag there, do!
What about the cards that get left behind?
You will have a slow time. That’s just the way life is. Let’s say you’re slow in July. Your June section is empty, but there are some cards in February and March. Follow through now. Your tape flags will tell you how, and your notes will tell you what to talk about.
Do I have to follow through with everyone?
Oh my heavens, no. No. No you don’t.
With some people you’ll know, while you’re first talking, that it’s not going to be a fit. Have a system to mark that. My system is to bend the lower left corner of their business card. They don’t see it, but when I’m back at my desk, stapling, I know that one is going straight to trash. Sometimes you’ll know after a few encounters that this isn’t someone you want to maintain a relationship with – throw the card away. (Well, I take the tape flags off first, I can re-use them!) This is about you. If you don’t like someone they can never be a Best Client.
What happens when I have too many cards to fit in my box?
You can either cull, or, add a second box so you have January – June in one, and July – December in the other. If you decide to cull it’s up to you whether to throw those cards away, or save them so when you do hit a slow spot you can reconnect with those people you’ve already put a little bit of follow-through investment into.
80% of all sales close after the 5th contact.
The other 20% take 7 or 11.
|48% of the people in your industry
make one contact, and stop.
|They hand out a card and never follow through.
If you have a system in place to make a second touch,
|25% of the people in your industry
make a second contact,
but they do it wrong.
|The 16 rules of follow through are:
All follow through must be about them.When you follow through about them,
competition narrows from 51 to 26.
|17% of the people in your industry
make a third touch, and stop.
|They stop because they’re afraid of being annoying –
but 80% of all sales close after the 5th contact.
When you follow through a fourth time, there are
only 9 other competitors in the game.
|48 + 25 + 17 = 90
90% of your competition is out
when you make contact number four.
|80% of all sales – in every industry – are closed
by 10% of all salespeople – the 10% who follow
through according to the rules.
|Are you willing to be one of the 10%?|
There is no such thing as a one-call close.
When you close on the first call, you were number five on someone else’s first four.
1: All follow through must be about them.
2: All follow through must be about them.
3: All follow through must be about them.
4: All follow through must be about them.
5: All follow through must be about them.
6: All follow through must be about them.
7: All follow through must be about them.
8: All follow through must be about them.
9: All follow through must be about them.
10: All follow through must be about them.
11: All follow through must be about them.
12: All follow through must be about them.
13: All follow through must be about them.
14: All follow through must be about them.
15: All follow through must be about them.
16: All follow through must be about them.
If you have a stack of business cards,
held together by rubber bands,
in your upper left desk drawer,
in the dark,
making no money . . . here’s what Drew Neiss did with his.
(Jump to the happy ending, where he has 169 new clients,
and keeps chocolate in that drawer for his 6 year old daughter, Layla.
When your drawer is empty let me know your results
and I’ll put them here, too.)
Hello, my name is __________.
I don’t know you, so I’m pretty sure you don’t remember me either,
but I know we’ve met, because I’m holding your business card.
It’s been living in my upper left hand drawer, making no money.
I’m guessing that we exchanged cards at a business networking event.
If your business is in growth mode I’d like to invite you to visit a business
referral network I’m a member of.
My name is ______, I’m an ___________, my phone number is ________
and I’ll look forward to meeting you again, and to remembering you this time!
Here’s Drew’s System:
1: To make a habit, choose a trigger – the action that is going to let you know to do these calls.
Drew’s trigger was when he pushed his chair back to go to lunch.
Instead of standing up he pulled his waste basket between his knees,
opened the upper left drawer, and pulled out three cards.
A> Use your own name, business and phone number.<grin!>
B> Remember to pause, strategically,when giving your phone number.
2: After the voice mail Drew went to LinkedIn and sent a personal invitation to connect.
(never allow LinkedIn to scrape your email.) He wrote:
“Hello Bob, I just left you a voice mail and I’m
about to throw away your card,
so I’d like to use LinkedIN as our mutual rolodex.
Looking forward to meeting you in person again, soon. Drew.”
C> Save this script to make it easy to cut and paste instead of having to type it out each time. Highlight the name so you don’t accidentally send Bob’s message to Cary. You could use
a “canned response” if you use gmail,
or a “sig file” if you use Outlook,
or a word.doc you leave on your desktop with several of these types of scripts, to make follow through quick.
(If you don’t know what these are, or how to use them, ask your friend Google, who keeps the owner’s manual for the 21st Century.)
3: After the LinkedIn invitation Drew addressed a post card with an invitation to visit his PowerCore Team.
D> If you would like PowerCore invitation post cards,
with your name and phone number on them, to mail as
a follow through, (it’s easy to hand write their name and address when you make the call, stamp and mail. Then they have a third contact, and your phone number in front of them again)
just email George@PowerCore.net and tell him
D.1: what phone number to print, and
D.2: how many you would like.
(There is no charge to you for this.)
4: With three stamped post cards, Drew pushed the trash can back under his desk, stood up, put the post cards in the mail pile, and, proud of his activity, went to lunch.
E> If you’re going to track your results, set up a system now.
I use two post it notes on the desk beside my phone, and make tick marks.
Jerry Seinfeld uses a calendar. http://www.writersstore.com/dont-break-the-chain-jerry-seinfeld/
Make a system that motivates you.
Click here The Drew Neiss Script and System to print this out, so you can doodle on it and make it your own.