Many years ago, (more than I care to think about), I made a career decision. I had always loved art and designing things, so I thought a career in advertising and graphic art would be ideal for me. I also made another conscious decision—avoid sales at all costs! I’m a little introverted and don’t handle rejection well so I felt at the time that I just didn’t have the personality to be a successful salesman.
Fast forward some 30 plus years. I now realize that even while I’m still an introvert and still really hate rejection, I’m a sales person. The ads I develop are designed to peak interest among MSPs and VARs in our end-to-end disaster recovery solution (see, I’m using sales words!), so that a sales person can follow up with them to answer any questions and ultimately give them a demo or sales pitch.
I frequently attend tradeshows and seminars where StorageCraft promotes its services, and guess what? I’m instantly converted into a sales person whose job it is to provide enough information to a prospect about our products and services so they are willing to then give me their contact information.
Gathering contacts is just one side of this double-bladed axe. Once you’ve got the contact info, you’ve got actually follow up with them or all the efforts you put into a tradeshow or event go right down the drain. Many of these new contacts will be interested in becoming clients, but they might need a nudge in the right direction. A little bit more information will likely help them decide for themselves, but you need to know what type of information to give them, and how best to give it to them. Knowing when, who, and how to follow up with clients is essential to the process, but how do you know exactly how to follow up?
Think about who the contact is first. You need to gauge the integrity of the lead in order to determine if it’s even worth giving them a call. Did they seem interested at the show or did they hand over a card for a free pen? Once you know the quality of the lead (we usually mark them hot, warm, or cold), you can decide what to do. The best leads (hot), or even those with some potential (warm) might benefit from a follow up with a call from your best salesman, but you might be wasting time calling cold leads. However, cold leads can still be used for email nurture campaigns that automatically email them information regularly, or you can just add them to your newsletter list. That way if they are in the market for services like yours in the future, you’ll be on their minds.
That’s really just a basic gander at what follow up means for business development, but for a very detailed and succinct look, check out this great article from MarketingProfs.
Need more marketing info? Check out our awesome rebranding guide.