How long does it take to get a client? First, the client has to become aware that we exist, and then that we can solve his problems with our products or services. That growth of awareness is a slow process. It takes time.
Let's say you've just sent out a batch of 200 letters, introducing yourself to businesses in your state.
You wait, happily anticipating at least a few phone calls.
You must follow on the 200 letters you sent out. They were simply an introduction.
If someone tells me they sent out 200 letters, I know they should have managed to collect from two to five new clients from the exercise. No excuses. Marketing is a numbers game, and worst case scenario, if you send out 200 letters, and follow up diligently, you will get at least two new clients.
Where most businesses let themselves down is in the following up process. They either don't follow up at all, or they follow up in a hit or miss fashion. They fail to even attempt to build a relationship with prospective clients. It's amazing that some of these businesses survive at all.
I'm as guilty of this as everyone else. I get busy too, and let follow-up activities slip. However, if I send out a new mailing, I make a real effort to follow the process through, because I know if I don't, I've just wasted the time and the postage it took to make that mailing.
=> How to follow up
Here's how to follow up:
1. Have a marketing goal for each month. For example, my marketing goal this month is to get five new clients, and follow up with clients I haven't heard from for a year. It's important to have this kind of over-arching marketing goal each month, because it helps you to gain perspective. Each mailing, each phone call and each e-mail message isn't as important as the overall picture, the amount of persistent marketing you do each day, week, and month.
2. The process begins. You send out your mailing of 200 letters.
3. A week later, follow up with phone calls. Making all the calls, including getting back to the people who didn't answer the phone because they were in a meeting, on vacation, or whatever will take you another week.
4. Send out material to those who requested it.
5. A week later, follow up with the people you sent material to.
6. A month after the initial mailing, send another mailing to everyone from the original 200 who expressed any interest at all, no matter how slight that interest was.
7. A month after that, send out another mailing, or make phone calls to ALL the prospects who were interested from the first mailing. This means that you've contacted the responsives from the 200 you sent the original mailing to at least THREE times.
8. Six months after the first mailing (it's now three months since they heard from you) follow up with another mailing.
9. Three months later, follow up again.
How many clients will you get from that original mailing of 200? My guess, over 12 months, you'll get at least TEN. Twenty would be excellent. (Remember that from two to five is the very least you'll get. )
Now, let's imagine that over the next two years, each of those ten clients spends $500 with you. Conservatively, that's $5000 from one mailing to 200 prospects.
It's also $5000 you won't earn unless you work on building relationships by following up with your prospects. So when you send a mailing, remember that you need to follow-up. That's where the money is.
Author of many books, including Making the Internet Work for Your Business, copywriter and journalist Angela Booth also writes copy for businesses large and small, and consults on search engine marketing. Angela has written copy for companies in many industries, ranging from technology and real estate to the jewellery trade. Her clients include major corporations like hp (Hewlett Packard), WestPac Bank, and Acer Computer. For copywriting services and marketing advice contact Angela at angelabooth.com