No doubt, you’ve heard the adage, “The fortune is in the follow-up.” So why is it that so many of us expend extraordinary amounts of energy searching for new prospective clients, yet when it comes to making follow-up contact with them, it’s a major fail?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a plastic surgeon) to remind you about how critical it is to follow-up.
Being vulnerable. Fear of coming across as needy.
For a lot of people, the possibility of following up and having an actual real-time conversation brings up tremendous fears of rejection and inadequacy.
Here are some simple tips I’ve collected for curing “follow-up failure:”
- Start by presencing and re-presencing your “compelling why.” Your “compelling why” is a simple statement about why you feel called to do the work that you do. Feeling the energy and passion of your “big why” gives you a boost to get past almost any type of mental or emotional inertia that holds you back. Presencing this can be as simple as writing down the statement on a sheet of paper and keeping it near your telephone.
- Set daily follow-up goals. Set a minimum daily results-based goal, for instance, of five live conversations with potential clients. Also set a “bull’s eye” goal of, say, 10 live conversations. Then set a “stretch” goal of 15 live conversations.
- Reward yourself. Set up small rewards for reaching one or more of these goals each day. The rewards can be as simple as going for a walk, watching a movie, or making a phone call to a close friend. Be creative!
- Work with an accountability partner. Similar to working out at the gym, it’s easier to workout or follow-up when you’ve got some else who can be a witness and cheerleader to your sweat.
- Track your activity and outcomes on paper or digitally. It’s amazing how seeing your activity and results in writing can be a low-tech, but high-payoff motivator. But you’ve got to try it to believe it. Here’s an example of what I actually used when I was accelerated from zero to a six-figure revenue stream in 73 days. (No points for style, but it worked!)
- Make follow-up fun. Turn this it into a game. For instance, see how quickly you can make five live conversations with potential clients.
Being consistent and effective at following up is a habit that anyone can develop. All it takes is a willingness to be of service and value to a fellow being.
Following-up doesn’t require advanced degrees or any type of advanced training. You don’t need to invest in yet another training program or workshop to learn how to follow-up.
Of course, if you’re one of those people who won’t take action unless you’ve paid good money for the advice, feel free to send money my way!
During my process of creating a six-figure revenue stream in 73 days in early 2005, things were moving so fast that I didn’t have the time or self-awareness to understand why what I was doing was working.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized a pattern to the general approach that I took: I focused exclusively on one critical element in each of the areas of:
- Client attraction
- Client conversion, and
- Client retention
When I looked more closely at my overall approach (and that of clients whom I’ve guided to rapidly accelerate their revenue, I identified seven key principles, which I’ve now dubbed “The 7-ONES Rule.” (Coincidentally, the very first client I guided to rapidly accelerate his revenue bested my record and created his annualized six-figure revenue stream in 71 days. But that’s not the only reason why I came up with the 7-ONES Rule; it’s mainly because there are seven principles, each of which involves focusing on ONE thing, as you’ll see below)
Here are the seven principles that make up “The 7-ONES Rule:”
- Focus on ONE audience. The more specific, the better. But don’t fall into the trap of getting paralyzed just because you don’t have your audience perfectly identified. At the least, just start with an audience that you naturally are drawn to. For me, that’s independent service professionals.
- Focus primarily on ONE lead-generation source. Whatever lead-generation source you choose, be sure it that the source naturally aligns with your values and business philosophy. In my case, when I was starting out, I didn’t have many good choices. So I simply found sources where my audience congregated. And that was through networking or leads groups. So I visited as many of those group breakfasts as I could.
- Focus on using ONE client conversion mechanism. Make sure your conversion mechanism of choice plays to your strengths and naturally showcases your expertise and the value you provide. I started out using free strategic session, but as I gained experience and insight, I ultimately began using paid strategic sessions exclusively.
- Focus on developing and offering only ONE high-end option for working with you. Optimally, this should a high-end service, program, or product with built-in continuity. Continuity means that once a client buys, they are committed to working with you for specified duration of time, rather than a one-time purchase. Originally, I offered monthly coaching services at $1500/month, with a 12-month long commitment.
- Focus on winning ONE new client at a time.I remember how excited I was after I signed up my very first client. Then my next immediate thought after that was: “Where’s the next one coming from?!?” It turns out that the meeting I had the very afternoon turned into another high-end client.The point is that it’s easy to get worried and lose confidence if you start thinking about how long a road you may have ahead of you.Although it initially seemed like it was going to take forever and a day, I had to repeat my “mantra” on a daily basis: “one client at a time.” Ultimately, within 73 days, I had 7 clients paying $1,500/month for my business coaching services.
- Focus on taking specific actions ONE day, ONE week, and ONE month at a time.It’s easy to get overwhelmed by attempt to tackle too much, all at once, by yesterday. Piling your plate high with activities doesn’t align with productivity, that is, producing results. Take action only on those items that are most likely to bring you immediate new business. Everything else goes on the “someday, but definitely not now” list.In my case, that meant there was no way I was going to invest any time or energy writing copy for a website. Or getting a logo designed for a business card. Or any of the other items that may seem like essentials for your business success. Instead, I put my energy into having conversations, either individually or in small groups, to invite people to attend my very first seminar.
- Focus your resources and efforts based on a ONE year timeline to implement your plan and refine your strategies and tactics based on results you produce.
- For each of the “rules of ONE” above, write down your plan for adhering to each rule. Your plan doesn’t need to be overly complicated or lengthy. Brevity and simplicity are best in this situation!
- EXTRA CREDIT:If you’re serious about creating a 6-figure revenue stream the fastest way possible, I invite you to join my Accelerated 6-Figures Special Interest list. Why? Because I’m planning to create a free training program that lays out the principles, best practices, and key elements you need to reach six figures and beyond.
But hurry and get on this list, because only the people on this list will get the training for free. And this list will be closing around mid-May 2012; after that, I can’t guarantee that the free training will still be available (but a paid version will be!)