There’s no crying in baseball and there’s no “slipped through the cracks” in business follow-up with prospects and clients, external and internal.
Yet, time and again, entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals explain the cost of their failure to follow up with a prospect or client by saying, “They just slipped through the cracks.”
As if the prospect or client had caused the problem!
First of all, there’s no “slipped” in effective communication.2>
When you fail to do what you said you’d do, prospects and clients don’t slip away from you. They run. Today’s smart-phone-savvy consumers want answers now and results even faster. Disgruntled prospects and frustrated clients will quickly turn to receptive professionals who can be trusted to do what they say they’ll do. Wouldn’t you if you were intent on doing business, but an unreliable executive or salesperson got in the way?
And, there are no “cracks” either, just the pockets of more organized, efficient professionals.
The prospects and clients who you let down or ignore don’t abandon their plans, they abandon you, because you abandoned them. Their business transaction will still happen, just without you. The income or commission that could have been yours ends up in the pocket of the professional who followed through, earned trust, and enabled the client to achieve their goals.
Don’t kid yourself. When you say you’ll do something, then in the minds of over-stressed prospects and clients, you just made a promise. When you promise to do more than you deliver on—whether that’s failing to return phone calls, email information, or…you let down those who you need to earn trust from. You also let yourself down—now and in the future.
WYPt SELF-TEST: WHAT IS FAILURE TO FOLLOW UP COSTING ME?
Let one prospect “slip through the cracks” when you don’t follow up on emails, promises to call, or on anything you committed to do, and you’re the loser on many levels. As you read through the following list of repercussions of abandoning a prospect or client, use the average income or commission you earn on your typical preferred transaction to add up how much just one failure to follow up may cost you:
1. Lost commission for that first prospect or client transaction: $ ____________
2. Lost commission from subsequent referrals from that individual if they had been well-served by you (let’s say 2 more deals you won’t get): $ _____________ X 2 = $ ____________
3. Lost commission from that new client’s next transaction: $ ____________
4. Lost commission from future business from that client and future referrals: $ __________
5. Those un-followed-up-on prospects and clients will spread word of your failings to anybody who’ll listen. Every time your name or industry comes up, those disgruntled individuals will chime in with “promises were made.” You may never know how many more clients and referrals you lose. Or, social media may reveal exactly how wide ranging the prospect’s or client’s negative reach is. Be optimistic and only dock yourself two deals here, but add to this amount your advertising budget for counteracting your proven bad service rating: $ __________ X 2 = $ ___________ + $ _____________ = $ _____________
What’s your TOTAL COST OF A FAILED FOLLOW UP? $ _____________
Even If your average income or commission per deal were only $3000, this list could represent a loss of $21,000 plus the cost of advertising that is undermined by word of mouth and social media activity. Failure to follow up is expensive!
Since not following up is a bad habit, those who do it once will repeat this self-defeating behavior again and again.
This means your total from one missed deal multiplied by how many times a year you drop the ball with a prospect or client is…. Do yourself a favor and do the “bad habit” math: $ __________ .
Attach a dollar figure to follow through, so you always relate the promises you make—from phone calls, texts, or emails to research or marketing—to your bottom line. This enables you to move from “it’s only a phone call or email” to making business decisions about opportunities to lose or to earn credibility and income.
Back to HOME … The Catalyst.com
WHAT’S YOUR POINT?
Avoid 7 Top Communication Mistakes &
Sharpen Your Competitive Advantage
“Making mistakes is not the problem—in fact, it’s essential to progress. Consciously and unconsciously repeating the same mistakes over and over, without learning from these short-comings, is the real mistake.” — PJ Wade
Do you know what “my point” is and how to make it, that is, how to be understood, effectively, confidently, and consistently, in any situation, in any medium? If you don’t understand why a particular point is relevant to a prospect or client, you’ll make mistakes which may appear to the other party as disinterest, incompetence, or self-interest—eroding preciously-accumulated trust.
This dynamic session, based on PJ Wade’s research and her new business book, What’s Your Point?: Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick! demonstrates that business success in the future—next cell call, next post, next conversation, next meeting, next day, next week, next year— Continue reading
Are you sure you’re modernizing and making-over your thinking and decision making at the same rate that your technology is continuously up-dated?
We are obsessed with “up dates” in everything from smartphones to our homes. “Make-overs” are standard requirements for every aspect of our lives. All this up-dating, and yet too many people persist with out-of-date thinking.
Procrastination—the easiest, difficult thing you can do—can be the culprit when thinking approaches are out of date: Continue reading
The pivotal 21st Century business question “WHAT’S YOUR POINT?” must be answered BEFORE you open your mouth, hit a key, or tap anything. Too often ‘Your Point’ is not clear to you and communication remains an expensive illusion. In this blog, I’ll share insights as a Futurist and Strategist to reveal how Business Leaders and Professionals with proven business experience can leverage their professional knowledge, problem-solving skills, and hard-earned expertise to consistently expedite effective, persuasive communication—online and off.
How do you describe your expertise to target prospects?
- Choose general terms to describe your expertise and you disappear into the crowd of “similar & not outstanding.”
- Choose TARGET-CENTRIC BENEFITS to describe your expertise and you POP OUT of the crowd as a unique opportunity for target prospects intent on having their UNIQUE PROBLEMS SOLVED.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE TO MAKE YOUR POINT?
Back to HOME … The Catalyst.com
My Point?…Social media and 21st-Century business both demand you are always prepared to MAKE YOUR POINT—online and off—because communication results matter every time in business and in life!
“WHAT’S YOUR POINT?”—this blog and my business book of the same title—are intended as a whisper in the ear, a tap on the shoulder, a pat on the back, and a mental ’kick in the pants’ for those with years of hands-on business experience who may not have received as much formal training in communication as they have in their chosen field.
Experienced business leaders, including advisors, executives, business owners, and professionals, face additional challenges as technology speeds everything up and there’s LESS TIME TO THINK!
Back to HOME … The Catalyst.com