How well do your “check in” follow-up calls work for you? You know the calls to the prospect or customer who was not ready to act or change yet? But you know there is future opportunity.

So, you have reminders set up so you can regularly keep in touch and you ‘check in’.  Most check-ins sound like this:

  • “Hi Greg, it’s been a while since we connected. Thought I’d check in and see if  you’d like to talk.”  or
  • “Hello Cheryl, how are you? You had mentioned I should check back with you this week to see where things are.”

Ever made calls like this? Or been the recipient of a call that sounds like this?  How effective is this approach?  Does it move the sale along? More often than not, it doesn’t.

What to do then? You need to ‘stay in front’ of them, keep your name out there, identify when it is time, right?  Of course!

What’s important is to vary your message and method to keep it interesting.  My colleague, Melissa Blair, of Cultivating Sales, reminds me often that NURTURING is the process that works.

What does it mean to nurture the prospects in your pipeline (or pre-pipeline)?  Nurturing or Drip Marketing are the terms used to STAY IN TOUCH with leads and customers.  To ‘drip’ regular messages and value to these people that keeps you top of mind, share valuable information with them and stops the ineffective ‘ check ins’. drip

Think about a dripping water faucet. It seems insignificant, but over the course of a few hours, all those drips add up – filling a glass!  it’s the same with drip marketing. Each ‘touch’ is small and seemingly insignificant, its the cumulative effect that pays off!

It only takes a few hours to initially identify your plan and get started, then the process is ready for auto-pilot leaving you valuable time for your other sales activities!

It works for Sales Pro Insider, Inc.  – we are a sales organization too!  We need to keep in touch with our leads and pipeline.  Last December, we put together a 12-month Drip Marketing plan. One ‘touch’  each month to our top 50 prospects. The pieces of the plan included:

  1. HOW we would connect: we challenged ourselves to think of mixing up the ways to stay in contact: email, regular mail, and phone calls.
  2. WHAT we would communicate: helpful tips, quotations, free tools, etc.
  3. WHEN we would connect: one ‘touch’ each month.
  4. WHO we want to stay in contact with: our top 50 prospects.

Then we put the plan into action. After just 3 months I am thrilled with the results! Three of the 50 have asked for us to move forward in the sales process!  That’s a 6% return after just 3 of our non-pressure filled ‘drips’!

The next post will include all the different free or inexpensive tools available to help you Stay In Touch.  There is a strong interest in nurturing – the proof is that the article Melissa Blair wrote a year ago for this blog is one of the most accessed posts!  Read 10 Ways to Increase Sales Using Drip Marketing.  You can follow Melissa on Twitter.