Automate: The Power of Automatic Follow-Up
The Automated Follow-Up Story
You’ve got a new lead. Congratulations!
But what happens next?
You need to follow up with them before they forget who you are. The way you follow up depends where you met them or how they were introduced to your business.
If you met them face-to-face at a network meeting, business show, or other business event, then you probably know at least something about them from your initial conversation. Therefore, some form of personalised follow-up would be the best way to continue building the relationship.
If they’ve found you online and expressed a genuine interest in what you have to offer then, again, you also know something about them. Their problem. After all, they exchanged their email address for your valuable and carefully crafted lead magnet. Plus they’ve given permission for you to continue the conversation.
Personalised communication is, by far, the best way to build a relationship. But personalisation is not just about addressing them by their first name. Personalised communication is meaningful because it’s relevant and talks about them and their needs and how you can help fulfil them. If you want to keep their attention you need to focus on their problem.
Saying something like “Hi we just met, can I sell you something?” really isn’t going to cut it because you have yet to build that all important trust. You need to educate and nurture them until they’re ready to buy.
Step 1) Educate & Nurture
Research shows that it takes at least seven interactions before a prospect is ready to buy. If you think about it, that actually makes sense because you have to earn their trust before you ask them to part with their cash.
Many small business owners fail to close the sale for one simple reason – They never ‘opened’ in the first place! This is where the ‘Educate and Nurture’ process comes in to play. By taking the time help your prospect understand what you can do for them, and explaining how you can solve their problem, you will begin to build that all important trust.
The best way to do that is to educate them. Explain why your solution is what they’ve been looking for and is the ‘best thing since sliced bread’.
This process can be as simple as a series of emails which drip feeds them everything they need to know to help them make a decision. Email is your friend here because it’s a great relationship building tool.
But how many emails do you send? The answer to that question is ‘whatever it takes to get the results you want by serving your prospect well’. The reality is it may well take 10, 20, or more emails to tell your prospect everything they need to know before you ask for the order.
And here’s another consideration, they may not open every email you send - so consistency and perseverance is what it takes to build that all important trust.
It would be a pretty time-consuming process if you had to send every email manually. Fortunately there are marketing automation systems designed specifically to help you automate this process and build trust with your prospect.
Step 2) Sales Process
There is no hard and fast rule stating how and when to turn a prospect into a customer. Everyone is different. But there is a process you can follow when a customer asks to take you up on your offer. Once they agree to buy, what happens next? You have to take them to the check out, they have to pay, and then you need to deliver on your side of the bargain.
The sales process needs to be as smooth and easy as possible because if it’s too difficult or too complex to understand, they may quickly lose interest and decide not to bother. Many companies such as Amazon and PayPal have invested huge amounts in creating a ‘one click order’ system which addresses this issue.
Think about your own experiences online – have you ever changed your mind part way through checking out just because you lost patience, or it took too long? How does it compare with an Amazon-like experience?
Here’s another consideration - the sales process does not stop at the point of payment. Once the sale has taken place you need to inform the customer how they can access their purchase, particularly if you sell a service. This will often involve a 'Welcome' or ‘On-boarding’ process which involves educating your new customer and telling them what to expect.
Again, a couple of automated email is often all it takes as you continue to build the relationship and deliver on your offer.
Step 3) Workflow Automation
Email plays a large part in building the relationship and converting your lead from a prospect to a customer. Having a clearly defined process to educate and nurture them is a great use of the email element of a marketing automation solution.
But it’s not just basic email marketing that can be automated. Many business processes like the ‘Welcome’ or ‘Onboarding’ process can also be automated as well as integrating with your payment system and even your accounting system.
What if every time you made a sale the customer was automatically sent a receipt and an entry made in your accounting system – all without you having to do anything? What if your prospects or customers could book an appointment with you at their convenience whilst it fresh in their mind - any time of day or night - without you having to answer the phone or reply to an email? Would that make your life easier?
There are a number of systems that can help you automate many of your business processes. This alleviates the need for you to manually do repetitive tasks to move information through your business as the relationships with your customers develop. You don’t employ more staff or work long hours late into the evening to just to make sure everything gets done.
Taking advantage of a streamlined automation system will offer many benefits – including giving you more time, saving you money, and the opportunity to scale and grow your business.
Do you want to see automation in action?
Let me introduce you to Productivity Pete. Here’s the only ‘employee’ here at Solofusion who doesn’t take a holiday, never gets sick, works 24/7 365 days a year – and does exactly what he’s told without ever complaining.
If you want to see a nurture campaign in action, all you need to do is enter your name and email and Pete will do the rest.
If you’re curious to see how an automated booking system can help streamline the communication with your prospects and clients, then click the button in the box below. You’ll be taken to my online diary where you can book your FREE discovery call and experience the process for yourself.
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