Seems like just about every time I host a marketing workshop or talk with a new coaching client, I hear the question: “Aren’t I bugging people if I keep following up with them?”

The answer is an emphatic “NO”!

The only way you would ever be “bugging” prospective clients would be if they’ve already told you they are not at all interested in what you offer or asked you specifically to stop contacting them. In any other situation, continued contact with a potential client is not only acceptable, it is often welcome.

Following up with someone who has shown interest in what you do isn’t pushy; it’s professional. Actually, it’s even more than that: Its HELPFUL!

When prospective clients say they aren’t ready to work with you right now but might be at some point in the future, they fully expect you to contact them again, and you are actually doing them a disservice if you don’t.

“Showing interest” doesn’t only mean that they have stated outright that they are ready to sign on the bottom line. If contacts have signed up for your mailing list, attended a presentation you gave or asked questions about your work when you met, they have shown interest and are qualified for follow-up.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that once you have made one or two touches your prospect will contact you when they need you. That’s not how it works.

When prospects finally do need the service you offer, who do you think they will contact — the professional they exchanged business cards with and never heard from again, or the professional who has followed up with them consistently since the two of you first came in contact?

Understand this: You are much more conscious of your follow-up than your prospects are. While you are thinking, “Oh, I just contacted that person last month,” guess what? They aren’t thinking of you at all!

When you reach them at a time when they don’t need you (as long as  your contact is done professionally) they simply take note and move on from our communication. That means that if they don’t hear from you periodically, they will likely forget about you and your product or service.

But when your call or email reaches a prospective client when they DO need you, you look like a hero or a magician. It has happened to me many, many times when I reach out to a prospect that he or she responds, “I’m so glad you contacted me.”

Your prospects are busy – crazy busy. Even if they realize they need your help, it may take weeks for them to contact you. In the meantime, one of your competitors may end up getting their business instead of you simply because they were diligent in keeping in contact.

One more reason to persist in following up: referrals!

Your repeated contacts remind people of what you do. Maybe they don’t need you right now, but they know someone who does. If they hadn’t heard from you, they wouldn’t have remembered. When you reach out, you jog their memory and prompt a referral.

So the next time you start to feel like following up is pushy or a waste of time, mentally give yourself a swift kick in the butt and then get on with your strategic follow-up plan.  The potential clients out there who are waiting to hear from you will benefit – and your balance sheet will, too.

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Would you do business with your own company?  When you search for your company by its name and add the word “reviews” at the end, are you happy with what people are saying?

Competition is fierce in today’s digital age, with nearly every business claiming the best products and services. How do people decide who they’re going to do business with?

One way is through customer reviews — which can to a great degree be managed.

One of the simplest yet most effective ways you can improve your online reputation is by responding to all your existing customer reviews – including your positive reviews. Surprisingly, this is one of the most neglected and underutilized marketing strategies. Companies often respond to negative reviews and comments, but not positive ones. Big mistake!

Here are seven simple steps to respond to positive online reviews:

  1. Write your response sooner rather than later. A response to a positive review will appear more genuine if  you deliver it quickly. You don’t have to respond in minutes, but don’t wait more than 24 hours.
  2. Address reviewers by name. When Courtney W. leaves a positive review, don’t just start your reply with “Thanks for your review!” Start it with “Hi, Courtney!”
  3. Continue with gratitude. After you address the reviewer by name, move on to simple gratitude. Your response should be something like “Hi, Courtney! We REALLY appreciate your kind review.”
  4. Address the reviewer’s key points. If Courtney’s review says that she loves your accounting company’s smart tax preparation tips, acknowledge that point. You can usually cite all the reviewer’s positive feedback in just one sentence.
  5. Offer discounts or rewards. While this is optional, offering discounts or rewards in your responses to positive reviews can encourage customer loyalty. If you do include an offer, put it at the end of your response.
  6. Keep it short. Responses to positive reviews shouldn’t be long. You can be genuine and grateful with just the above, along with a final “thanks again” at the end. Don’t forget to include your name.
  7. Share your positive reviews. After you respond to the positive review, share it on your company’s social media platforms. You can also add positive reviews to your website’s testimonials page.

See? Easy, but oh so effective!

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The Key to a Winning Market Strategy: Discipline

December 5, 2019

The Discipline of Market Leaders by Brian Treacy and Fred Wiersema (Basic Books, 1997) had a major impact on me when I first read it way back in 2002, even though it was already about six years old then.   Guess what? It still packs a punch. According to the authors, to build a market-leading company, […]

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How to Keep Tabs on Your Competition Online

November 12, 2019

Every smart business makes it point to pay attention to the competition.  While you should never spend exorbitant amounts of time dissecting every minor move nor murmur that your competitors make, you do need to know broadly what they are up to. Are they launching new products or services?  Are they entering new markets or […]

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How to Launch A Marketing Program That Truly Delivers

June 12, 2019

“Funny how the new things are the old things.” ~ Rudyard Kipling The average businessperson sent and received 122 emails per day in 2016, and that total climbed to more than 150 by 2018. That doesn’t include the billions of spam emails sent daily.  And while email is still an extremely effective marketing tool, more and […]

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How to Fill Seats at Your Next Business Event

March 26, 2019

For most businesses – especially professional service providers – hosting live events is a great marketing tactic. Live events showcase your expertise, build stronger relationships with your customers and prospects and set you apart from your competitors at the same time. But while the positives of hosting a workshop or seminar are clear, there is […]

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How to ‘Get Lucky’ in Your Business

March 1, 2019

Ever notice how some people just seem to be born lucky? They attend a business luncheon and end up sitting next to an ideal prospective customer. They raise the price of their service just before their top competitor announces they they are shutting down a similar service line. They hire a new employee who ends […]

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How to Make Sure Your Price is Right

May 29, 2018

A quick business fable: Debbie is a startup bookkeeper who wants to earn $100,000 a year. She plans to charge $50 per hour working 8 hours a day, 5 days per week, 48 weeks per year, taking one week off for Christmas, one week for spring break and two weeks for summer vacation. After a year […]

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