Follow Up or Follow Through?

If you read my articles regularly, you know I talk lots about following up.  I learned this trick very early as a sales rep because when I worked  with my customers on a regular basis, I found that if I didn’t contact them for re-orders, I often, would not get the re-orders.

Then Rob Fortier published an article: Stop Following Up and Start Following Through. 

What an eye opener! Following up is no good if you don’t follow through!!Follow Up or Follow Through?

Rob describes follow though as …

…. continuing the relationship that you started at the event where you met. Follow through is all about making friends that, at some point, may turn into customers or referral partners.  Remember, again, that selling is all about creating relationships.

Of course, Sales 101 is about developing the relationship!  Buyers buy from people they know and trust (which, incidentally, is why sales reps can be a big help in selling your products as they already have a relationship with a buyer!)

Most of the time, following through just consists of calling the buyer you said you would call.  Or mailing a note to the person who bought from you.  Or sending an email to that contact you have not heard from in awhile.

And, if you attend a show and collect business cards, you already have a place to start your new ‘follow through’ process.  The buyers who give you cards were, obviously, interested in your product line or they would not have left their card!  DUH!!

Rob also suggest using software programs to help you keep track of your follow through with potential buyers and customers:

Customer Relationship Management. These software programs, in addition to keeping all of someone’s contact info, serve as great places to take notes and add reminders of dates of when you need to reach out to someone again. Many people try to get away with using a spreadsheet or an address book. Trust me- don’t! You can get a CRM for as little as $10/month (LessAnnoyingCRM.com is a great one).

Personally, I use a combination of QuickBooks notes and the Task function in my Microsoft Outlook program.

Either way, find a system that works for you and then use it!

Like Rob says:  “A great way to develop those relationships is to follow through instead of follow up.”

For more information on this topic, check out the following articles:

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