By PlanetLaundry staff | May 15, 2012
How often do you engage in some kind of marketing to help grow your commercial accounts business – attend a local event, engage in social networking, send out a postcard, run a webinar, have a call with a prospect – but feel like you got little or no results?
Laundry owners go to all kinds of effort implementing this marketing tactic or that. And whatever they are doing seems spot on and bound to generate a lot of interest from local businesses. But, in the end, many of them don’t gain the number of commercial clients they envision.
Why not? For many, this is because they’re skipping the most powerful tactic of all – a good follow-up strategy.
Today, most prospects aren’t going to make a buying decision right out of the gate. Instead, they want to get to know, like and trust you first. Plus, these days it’s harder than ever to stay top of mind with people. Because so much is competing for everyone’s time and attention, if you don’t stay visible by staying in contact, even satisfied customers may tend to stray.
By following up regularly, you ensure that prospects and commercial clients will remember you, and you will build a relationship with them so that they want to go to you time and again. It’s your job to stay in touch like clockwork and make sure the first interaction is never the last.
Of course, maybe you don’t like to follow up because you simply don’t want to annoy people. If that’s the case, here are six ways you can follow up without being a pest:
Pick up the phone. Especially for your first follow up, but even periodically afterward, nothing beats a phone call. It’s the most personal contact you can have without meeting in person. It makes people feel important and cared for. And it doesn’t cost anything more than a few minutes of your time.
Send a card. Thank you cards, nice to meet you cards, thinking of you cards, inspirational cards… they all work. And everyone appreciates receiving one. Try to be creative or memorable. You can send holiday cards, but you’ll get noticed and remembered more by sending cards at other times of the year.
Be thoughtful. Send articles on topics of interest (by you or someone else). Congratulate a client or prospect when they win an award, have a baby or land a big client of their own. Send a “nice to meet you” e-mail, a great book, whatever that person might find valuable. The sky is the limit, as long as it isn’t a sales pitch.
Hold events. You can hold events throughout the year that add value to your prospects or clients lives or businesses. Think about hosting a client appreciation party, a power breakfast seminar, a fundraiser, an art walk or a free webinar series.
Connect online. Take offline connections online by reaching out via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. It’s another great way to stay in touch and keep conversations going. And, if you’ve got your social networking and blog linked together, they’ll continually get to sample your expertise and get to know you better.
E-mail back. If someone signs up for your commercial service, be sure to e-mail them with more than just a confirmation. Have a series of e-mails preset that offer more useful information, ask for their opinions, etc. You can upsell and cross-sell, too.
The key is to use a variety of tactics to stay in touch over time and not be overly pushy or "salesy." Simply offer value and be thoughtful, and people will remember you – as well as why they should partner with your laundry business.