The Lost Art of the Follow-Up


In my experience at Sharn Enterprises, Inc., I have encountered different situations that deal with client building, customer relationships, and overall account management.  The most important I have come to realize is the art of the follow-up.

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What sparked my in-depth thought about the follow-up was an email I received from a potential customer.  It read,

“I will stay in touch.  I am sure we can do some things together and I appreciate your efforts and follow-up.  It’s a refreshing change!!”

This note not only made my day, but also got my wheels turning.   If I can provide a “refreshing change” for a customer who is not used to follow-ups and attempts to make an effort, then Sharn Enterprises gains an opportunity to earn new business. Thus, when you’re not reaching out to a potential or even a current client, you may miss a potential opportunity and that client may take their business elsewhere.  GoTo Market Strategies (2014) supports this and states, “only 50% of marketing leads have received a follow-up from sales or channel partners, making it the top reason a product wasn’t purchased.”

The definition of a follow-up is when you check-in with a customer or client to give them a heads up, update, or even a general hello.  The follow-up can also take on different hats, including being a marketing boost.  For example, a once booming client may have lost touch with your organization for no specific reason, just plain evolution.  Reaching out could remind a client of your services and help them realize you are just the right person to help with an upcoming project.

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You see, the follow-up is sometimes unexpected, unwarranted, and ignored.  In other instances, the follow-up is welcomed, unexpected (in a good way), and appreciated.  And the latter version is where your company (and Sharn Enterprises, Inc.) maximizes its results.

As a marketing and sales professional, I want to be known as the person that makes the extra effort.  I want to my client to know that I care and I am willing to go the extra mile.  I do not want to be apart of the other 50% and lose potential business.

As I get off my soapbox, here are some ways that you and your sales team can increase productivity by going back to the basics, by bringing back the lost art of the follow-up:

1. Send an email– Do not just cut and paste.  Write a thoughtful note that doesn’t seem like Siri was the author.

2. Write a letter– Once again, no copying and pasting.  Key word here is “write.”  A hand-written note shows consideration and time was taken in order to really delve deep into thought.  A letter is personal, warm, and is an extremely thoughtful follow-up approach.

3. Pick up the phone- If emailing or writing a note seems too trivial for your specific customer, give them a ring.  A phone call allows for the inflection of your voice to be expressed.  If you’re excited about an upcoming project you are working on for that client, it will be heard in your voice.  Most importantly, be yourself.

4. Send follow-up information right after a meeting– During your meeting, write down notes for yourself.  For example, when I meet with a new client, I write down notes as well as detailed data so I am able to mock-up a custom display idea right after the meeting.  You are human; you can’t remember every detail, so writing notes down can help recall all key points discussed.

5. Keep an eye out for the small things– During your initial meeting, keep an eye out for body language, words, or expressions that piqued your customer’s interest and got them excited to work with you.  Refer back to these in your follow-up approach.

6. Agree– If you agree with a point made by your customer, let them know!  This builds trust and lets the client know you are listening and on the same page.

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At Sharn Enterprises, Inc. we have seen the follow-up truly work.  Like my dad always says,

“If you try and don’t succeed, it’s better than not trying at all.”

For more information on Sharn Enterprises, Inc.’s custom POP displays and store fixtures, please visit http://www.sharndisplays.com or call 815-464-9715.

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What Matters More?


What Matters More, the Quality or Quantity of Your Social Media Audience?

There are some brands out there that have very large social media followings –whether it’s from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. – this takes top priority over anything else the company has going on. Which got me thinking, when it comes to the amount of “likes” and followers you have, does quantity override quality of content?

There are people, companies, and brands out there that have some of the largest social media following I have ever seen; millions upon millions of likes and comments, yet still have trouble obtaining money for a fundraiser they are trying to hold.  On the other hand, there companies that have a much smaller scale of social media following and have huge success in raising money for a fundraiser.  In my opinion, networking and actually getting to know your followers and friends has a lot to do with the outcome of your success in this situation.

Diane Leone, founder and digital media strategist for Butterfly Social, a boutique social media agency that helps companies market their businesses using social media, was asked “What do you tell clients and brands that worry about the number of social media followers?”

Quality And Quantity Computer Keys Showing Choice Between Excellence Or Numbers

Quality And Quantity Computer Keys Showing Choice Between Excellence Or Numbers

She states, “It’s about focusing on one or two of the best platforms for your business and really building quality connections on those platforms,” she says. “If you try to spread yourself thin, whether it’s across all social media platforms or trying to get huge quantities of followers, how will you engage with all of them effectively? I advise clients to go for meaningful engagements.”

Every company has a different approach and strategies for marketing their brand, but many businesses say that “80% is quality and 20% is quantity,” when it comes to social media marketing.

Companies want and need long time, recurring customers to sustain their business and brand. When you have these customers, it leads to more business from word of mouth marketing.  This can be good and bad.  I say this because your company and brand is highly important.  You want to make sure that you are obtaining customers that become “regulars” rather than having the “window shoppers” that leave you empty-handed.

The key to keeping quality is making sure that you are being authentic in your social media posts.

Here at Sharn Enterprises, Inc. we try our best to maintain authenticity and keep the quality of our posts at an all time high.  We like to engage our customers with relevant and trending content to keep them coming back.

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Sure we could buy “fake followers,” but that wouldn’t make us the credible, loyal, and reliable company that our customers know us to be.

-Chelsey Heft, Marketing Intern

For more information on our products and services, visit http://www.sharndisplays.com!

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“A Proud American Manufacturer”

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Flag Day 2015


Flag Day!

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Here in the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th. It’s the day of remembrance for the adoption of our flag, which happened on June 14th, 1777 by the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates its birthday on this date.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday; however, it is at the President’s discretion to officially proclaim the “holiday”. On June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first State to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday.

Did you know?

  1. Many American’s sing The National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, have said the Pledge of Allegiance; by singing, pledging or even saluting the flag you are commemorating the Flag Day Holiday.
  2. The colors on the flag have symbolized meaning:
    1. Red stands for hardiness and valor
    2. White symbolizes for purity and innocence
    3. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice
Information found from:

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/modern/jb_modern_birth_1.html

http://www.chicagonow.com/tween-us/2013/06/13-facts-for-flag-day/

 

Sharn Enterprises wants to honor Flag Day, and all of those who have bravely serve under this flag.

 

For more information on our products and services, check out http://www.sharndisplays.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook! @Sharndisplays & http://www.facebook.c0m/SharnEnterprises

 Sharn Enterprises, “A Proud American Manufacturer.”