You can work tirelessly to get amazing, qualified, top-level leads but if you don’t have the bandwidth or the resources to follow up with them, all your brilliant, beautiful and expensive marketing is all wasted. Let me tell you about some instances of how I’ve seen brilliant marketing being wasted due to lack of follow up.
I got an Oscar-worthy swag bag from a recent conference I attended. This was such a great gathering of the best gifts I could have imagined that I was in raptures about it. In that bag was an amazing hand-made soap. Like any greedy consumer, I threw out the packaging and proceeded to wash with it. Now I’m almost out of it and I’m in despair. Short of hiring a private eye, I have no idea how to find these people (or doing time consuming research to reach conference organizers etc.) Yes, they got to me. I fell in love with them. I’m a highly vocal and well-connected influencer in my community but I have no idea how to find them. In fact, they are not the only sponsor guilty of wasting their brilliant marketing. Not one sponsor of the contents of that swag bag have reached out to me. One because they didn’t design a way to capture my information. Two because they didn’t communicate with me afterwards. How much money is wasted in sampling without follow up every single day?
What do you do with that stack of business cards you collect? I put them into a sleek vase on my desk until they overflow and give it to my assistant to process by calling them and offering them a complimentary Strategy Session or an invite to my webinar or to an event. I guarantee I’m one of the few who actually do call the people who they’ve connected with at networking functions because NOBODY ever calls me. Which leads me to believe, 1. they weren’t networking with their ideal target if they don’t want to call them 2. they don’t know what to do with the contacts they have made. Then, both points lead me to the conclusion that people who let good networking leads lapse just don’t have a solid marketing plan. Add up the hours of your life that you’re spending at these meetings. What are you doing to convert them, really?
I have now learned not to call people right after a trade show. My team and I now call them months later, to check in with them. To offer them value added resources. To see if they’re over the high and the exhaustion of the event and if they’ve let their real life pull them back into the rut they were in before we met. I’m glad to say that I’ve gotten a lot more sales after a trade show than actually at some of them. So if you’re not actually doing something with all those contacts you spent days standing on your feet and forcing your lips into a smile to get, you’re wasting your brilliant marketing.
I could build a small forest with the amount of direct mailing that I get in my mailbox. Mostly, the culprits are realtors who pour their hard earned commissions into beautiful, glossy images of the houses they’ve loved and lost (sold). Not one of the many realtors who then cold-knock or cold-call me in my home office are the same big spenders who are following up to see if I read their riveting marketing material. They throw it out there, hoping the universe will return it to them in service hungry clients. Unfortunately, I know that only less than 1% of direct mail is even consumed (read). So, why not use this marketing tool as a door opener to actually warm up a cold call and ask ‘have you gotten my brochure?” The same goes for any type of sponsorship of advertising. Why not use that ad you had as a sponsor in that conference as a door opener to call the list of other sponsors or attendees? The possibilities are endless!
Failed Sales Conversations
This one is my own greatest wasted marketing because I know that there’s an energy behind a “No” which I’m nervous to go back to. However, I’ve since observed businesses go through cycles of opportunity and growth and I’ve learned to process the word “no” as “not yet”. So, I’ve hired help to help me reach back out to those prospects who, for whatever reason weren’t ready for me. I invite them to something new that I’m doing that will add value-again, a webinar, a seminar, a Roundtable. It’s just great to connect and to be in the running because in business as in life, nothing is constant…
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