Keep In Touch
by Joe Bonura, CSP
Make It A Habit
As Stephen Covey wrote in his book The Seven Habits of Highly
Successful People, "Always begin with the end in mind."
Closing the sale is the end result that most sales people have in
mind when they are making sales calls; however, the real sale is
usually in the follow-up where most sales people do a poor job.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
After the first call on a prospect, the follow-up begins as soon
as you get to the car. Carry a stack of thank-you notes
in the car, and before you start the engine, write a quick thank-you
to the prospect for your visit. Within fifteen minutes after you
completed your sales call, the prospect has forgotten that you exist,
so the thank-you note is a good reminder.
Always On Their Minds
The next morning, the prospect opens the mail, and you are top-of-mind
again. In the advertising agency business, we had a saying that
spaced repetition is the mother of memory. Since the
average sale is usually made on the fifth contact, you will be well
on your way to becoming top-of-mind with the prospect. Another good
reason to send the thank-you note is that your competition is probably
not doing it, and it will give you a competitive advantage.
One More Reason
I have had sales people tell me that many clients confide that
the thank-you note was one of the reasons they received the business.
I have had some tell me that they received a thank-you for the thank-you.
It is a simple and polite way for you to stand out from the crowd.
Make it a habit, and you will reap the benefits.
Your ultimate goal will be to create what I call a list of ten
hot prospects, that you will put on your to-do list every week.
The objective is to do something every week to keep your name in
front of your target-ten list. Again, the objective
is to become top-of-mind in your product category with your target
You should always be working a list of ten hot prospects. But,
what happens when you sell one of the ten? You add a new prospect
to the list so that you will always be working with ten hot potentials.
So what can you do every week to keep in touch? You can use two
methods: High-touch and Low-touch.
Everybody sends birthday cards and Christmas cards, and your objective
will be to stand out by also sending off-season cards. A friend
of mine sent a client a Ground Hog Day card, and she called him
with tears in her eyes. She said that she and her father always
exchanged Ground Hog Day cards before he passed away.
Ground Hog Day Cards
Valentine Day Cards
Independence Day cards
Event Cards (you acknowledge news about them in the local paper)
Articles (Send snail mail or e-mail of an article that would be
of interest to them)
I once closed a deal after sending a prospect a telegram. He thought
that is was so unique, and since he was looking for an advertising
agency that would make him stand out from the competition, we fit
The Coeur DAlene Resort, a client of mine, sent a six-pack
of beer to a beer distributor. Each bottle had a special label,
printed with one of the amenities of the resort that the beer distributor
would enjoy at the facility. The carton featured the hotel.
When one of my friends visited a client and discovered that she
was planning a trip to Antarctica, my friend immediately sent a
book about Ernest Shakeltons adventure to be the first to
walk across the continent of Antarctica.
Discover your prospects interests, and send them something
that addresses that interest.
When I worked for the General Electric Company, we wanted to motivate
the dealers to sell more appliances by giving an incentive of a
trip to Las Vegas. We sent them a one-month subscription to the
Las Vegas Sun Newspaper.
Watch What Happens
Have a creative session with your staff and create ways to stand
out from the crowd. Every week, keep your name always before your
target ten list, and watch what happens.
© 2010 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.