I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, the fortune is in the follow up.  Whether you’re trying to make a fortune or just obtain more paying clients, having a follow up system is essential to your business success.

In my opinion, business owners need to have a strategy for marketing both online and offline.  You need to have 2 follow up systems, one for online marketing and one for offline marketing.

Generally, it will take 7 contacts with you before a prospect becomes a customer. This means you need to have at least 7 ways of connecting with that prospect before a possible sale occurs.

For online marketing, your most valuable follow up system will be the autoresponders within your email campaign program.  An autoresponder is a series of emails that you create to go out to your list at pre-scheduled times.

For example, let’s say someone signs up for your free gift on your website.  What I find is that most people will also put a blurb on the sign up page that tells the person they will receive a free subscription to your e-newsletter.  Be sure to send them the next e-newsletter that you put out.  You can also setup other emails to go out, say every second or third day that just gives them information such as the opportunity to get your blog content emailed to them.  Do you have a Facebook business page?  Invite them to connect with you on your social media sites.  You might decide to send a tip of the week.  You’ll want to focus on having them get to know, like and trust you.  If you have a free webinar or teleseminar coming up, invite them to it.  If you offer a free consultation, send them a link to make an appointment in your online calendar.

Offline marketing would come into play when you meet people in person, such as networking events.  Your follow up system here may be a little more diverse since you’ve already made a face-to-face connection (and yes that does count as one of the 7 contacts).  You may want to call them and just say how nice it was to meet them.  You will want to ask them directly if they would be interested in receiving your e-newsletter. * Side note – please don’t add people to your email list because you met them at a networking event.  Just because someone gave you their card doesn’t mean they want to be put on your email list.  If you email them things they didn’t request, they may report you as spam.*

You could also send them a personal handwritten note or a card.  You could suggest meeting for coffee to learn about each other’s businesses and how you might be able to help each other with referrals, etc.  Again, you’ll want to have at least 7 ways to contact them.  You may also want to email them personally (not from your email list).  I’m sure you get the idea.

A great way to stay on top of it all is to put it in a project management system/ CRM that will remind you when to those tasks need to be completed.  I’ll write about project management and CRM systems in my next blog.

The main thing is to create the system and stick with it.  Many small business owners don’t follow up consistently.  When you do, that will put you ahead of many of your competitors.

What are some other ways you can think to stay connected with your prospects?  Please comment below.