What if I told you there’s a secret to sales lead success that’s as easy as 1-2-3?
Would you believe me if I said the secret lies in… business cards?
You may not see the connection right away, but you will.
Business Cards: They’re Not Just Paper and Ink
If I gave you a peek into my pocket, you‘d find three things: credit cards, some cash, and business cards.
When someone hands me a business card, that tiny card represents a whole lot of potential. So every time I receive a card, I hold onto it long enough to run it through a three-step process:
- I thank the lead in an email
- I add the lead as a LinkedIn contact.
- I add the lead as a contact.
I told you it was simple.
But here’s why this simple pocket follow-up formula is so important: A relationship begins with the passing of a business card into your hand, but it has to end with an event.
The card merely serves as a reminder of what you need to do in between.
Once you follow the three-step process for recording the interaction, then you need to follow up with the lead in some way, so you’re ready for “event” status.
And only then should you get rid of the business card.
The Sales Killer: Failing to Follow Up
The cards you collect are important, but you can’t keep score based on the ones that stay in your pocket. Sales lead success depends on follow up. That’s why the pocket follow-up trick works so well.
Here’s how it works in real time.
Let’s say I’m a roofing contractor and I get a new lead. I put the business card in my pocket, knowing that I’ll get to the lead when I follow my 3-step process. Once I’m back at the office, in front of my desk, I get to work on the follow-up process.
- I email the lead, thanking him for giving me some time to introduce myself and talk.
- I search for him on LinkedIn, and request a connection. (Then, I find out everything I can about the lead.)
- I input all of his data into my contact management system.
After those steps are completed, I decide how to follow up. I give him a call. I ask him about his roof’s condition and how old it is. We talk for awhile, but the lead doesn’t want or need a new roof at this point. I thank him and hang up, making a note to follow up at some point in the future.
A few months later, after a tornado blows through the area, the lead calls me up and asks for my help putting on a new roof. Once this “event” takes place in his life, he’s ready for the new roof. And because of my follow-up success formula, my business is top-of-mind.
But not only that, I win his business, because of the strategy I follow, day in, and day out. All it takes is the simple habit of storing business cards in your pocket. Then, you can improve your sales leads’ effectiveness and turn business cards into money.
What’s your favorite way to ensure you don’t forget a follow-up with a prospect?