Salespeople and marketing professionals have different approaches to the marketplace but their goals are essentially the same. They need to persuade end users to buy in to the products and services of their businesses or those of their clients. A successful follow-up strategy is key to these objectives.
There’s a good Slideshare presentation by HubSpot on the best ways to follow up with prospects after initial contact has been made. Essentially this is geared to sales, but the processes recommended can be adapted to marketing programmes such as email campaigns.
The main contention is that in following up you should provide information rather than request it. In other words, giving insights and industry intelligence that is useful to the prospect will create goodwill. On the other hand, trying to push for a procurement decision can be seen as selfish and in the interest of your business rather than that of the prospect company.
Thanks to Google Alerts, finding valuable information about a target company, its competitors and industry sector has made research relatively easy. Simply provide the names of the company and the competition plus industry keywords and Google will send email alerts instantly providing new content relevant to your request. Information can then be selectively passed to prospects that could benefit them and their businesses.
So, instead of following up with a selfish “I wanted to know” contact, the supplier, salesperson or marketer makes a useful and unselfish contribution – i.e. “I thought you’d be interested to know.”
The presentation also suggests targeting niche LinkedIn groups in the prospect’s area of business; all good stuff, although the authors have missed a trick by not including Google+ communities and Twitter accounts in their recommendations.
The approach is generally a good one, but it needs to be used skillfully and tactically. Flooding prospects or customers with all sorts of industry information can irritate target decision makers as much as emails pleading for purchasing and procurement decisions to be made.
BBI Brandboost has carried out numerous email and direct marketing campaigns for clients and we can design strategies to the needs individual businesses that encompass the whole process, including follow-up tactics. Contact us on 01494 452600, by email or via the Live Chat Function on our website to discover how we can assist in your marketing programmes from start to finish.
By Jason Freeman
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