True story. A few years ago, my wife and I decided to join a gym. There were a couple of options near our home, so we stopped by to tour each one to scope things out. We wanted to know about pricing, cleanliness, crowd levels, classes, equipment, etc.
After our initial visits, we had not found ourselves any closer to making a decision.
One day passed. Then two days had gone by. We were not intentionally avoiding a decision, we just got busy and the days kept slipping by.
Then, I received an e-mail from Tony, a rep at one of the gyms.
I almost responded, but I was on a conference call, got distracted and forgot to reply.
Luckily, the next day Tony called me. “Hey, Danny, I was just wondering if you got my e-mail yesterday?”
It worked! I took out my credit card and paid right then over the phone.
As I dusted off my gym shoes in preparation for my first visit, it got my sales brain thinking about you. How can my gym membership story help you, the MSP?
First, let’s remember what sales studies tell us:
- Most sales go to the vendor who responds FIRST.
- E-mail falls second to follow-up calls when it comes to effectively reengaging leads. But you already know that follow-up is a CRITICAL component of your sales process. AND you know you stink at it. (It’s okay – most of us do.)
When it comes to follow-up, you think it’s a chore, right? I can just hear the thoughts going through your mind…
“If they were interested, they’d call ME back.”
“This deal’s in the bag. They just need a few days to think about it.”
“I don’t want to harass them with too many calls. It’ll chase them away.”
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but these are just the excuses you tell yourself to avoid taking ownership of your results (of lack thereof).
- 80% of sales require five follow-up attempts after the initial meeting.
- 44% of sales reps give up after one follow-up.
- Follow-up works.
The key to successful follow-up is consistency, and the secret to consistency in follow-up is AUTOMATION.
Okay, back to my story. It turns out that Tony from the gym hadn’t personally typed out and sent me that e-mail. He just plugged my info into their CRM and the system waited the prescribed three days and automatically sent me the message. Then, when I hadn’t taken action on the e-mail, it assigned Tony a task to give me a call.
He called me. I took out my credit card. His follow-up attempts worked!
Now, let’s fast-forward six months. I fell out of the habit and hadn’t been to the gym in three weeks.
You know how it goes. The kids were out of school, so life became more hectic… Work was really busy, and I didn’t have time to get to the gym… I didn’t want to be sore during that upcoming event in a few days… (See? We ALL make excuses to avoid taking ownership of our results. Me included!)
But then, I got another e-mail from Tony. It went something like this:
We haven’t seen you at the gym in a few weeks. I thought you said you wanted to lose some weight. Get off your fat butt and come see us! ????
Seriously, let me know if we can help you get closer to your goals – I’d be happy to connect you with a free session with one of our personal trainers.
See you soon,
Yes, really. That’s what he sent me! And by golly, it worked AGAIN.
I was in the gym the next day. I even met with a personal trainer that week, and after a 30-minute workout with him, I signed up for weekly, ongoing, one-on-one personal training sessions. Upsell!!
I can hear you now: “Danny, what does your gym story have to do with me?” Hear me out on this one.
- Retaining customers is seven times less costly than acquiring new ones.
- Upsells can add value, increasing both engagement and retention.
- And is absolutely critical.
What do I mean by personalized messaging?
Well, the e-mail above worked on me. HOWEVER, can you imagine if that “fat butt” message had gone to my wife? (Do you remember the old tire commercial with the lady throwing the tire through the store window? Yeah, imagine that, but for mature audiences only – complete with bloodshed and profanity.)
Well, it turns out that the gym had different “reactivation” messaging for men and for women. Smart… they probably saved lives with that little trick!
Getting the right message to the right person is crucial.
Now, it might be obvious how to apply these principles in your IT services business. Just in case, though, here are four tips you need to put in place NOW to improve your follow-up and get more sales.
- Establish Your System for Following Up. Then execute the process so you don’t let leads (and profits) slip through your fingers. Don’t let your sales staff (or yourself) make excuses. Follow up on every single lead, every single time…at least five times.
- Use a Multimedia Approach. You will hear Robin talk about this. It means to use different methods for follow-up. E-mail them. Call them. Text them. Mix it up and you will increase your results.
- Automate Your Follow-Up. Automation is KEY for consistency. If you do NOT have a marketing automation system, get one!
- Segment and Organize Your List. You need a CRM. If you want to personalize your messaging, you need to have critical information about your clients at your fingertips. You might not need to know if they are a man or a woman…but it might be valuable to you to know what industry they serve or what services they have from you already, or maybe what antivirus or BDR solution they use.
Robin Robins will tell you over and over again, “The single biggest, most valuable asset of any business is your list and the relationship you have with it (prospects, clients).”
Don’t let precious leads and opportunities slip away. If you do, your business is bleeding money. Every single opportunity is critical if you want to thrive as a company.
And if you STILL don’t have a CRM and marketing automation platform, how the heck are you keeping up with your follow-up.
If you know your follow-up is abysmal or nonexistent, give yourself the gift of jumping on our Infusionsoft platform: www.MSPmarketingCRM.com. Think of this as a “ticketing” system for your leads and opportunities, much in the same way your PSA tool allows you to capture, track and appropriately follow up on support tickets for clients.