Follow Up Techniques for Home Based Businesses
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The Importance of Follow-Up

by Helene Zemel

In both my career as an insurance agent and my present career as a Founding Affiliate for GeneWize Life Sciences and a  Senior Regional Sales Director for AmeriPlan, a discount medical and dental benefits company, I have always been quite aware of the importance of following up with prospects and clients.  As any good advertising professional will tell you, it takes a number of exposures to your marketing or advertising to make that sale no matter which industry you are in.

While we have all experienced those customers who are ready to buy as soon as we finish our presentation, and some clients will even buy directly from your website without even calling your 800 number or requesting more information via e-mail,   chances are that these customers have already done their homework, have a need that your product, service or opportunity satisfies, and are ready to buy when they come across your advertising or website.  There is always the impulse buyer too, but in my experience they are the first to return the product or only use your service for a short period of time.

For most sales, people will want to think about it.  Sometimes the timing is just not right.  Perhaps they have some extra bills to pay, their life is too hectic at the moment, or there is even a family crisis going on.  Your prospects may be ready in the future to make the purchase, but if you don't keep your advertising in front of prospective customers, you will lose them as future customers when they are ready to try your product, service or opportunity.

Here are some tips for following up with your prospects:

1)        Keep an accurate and up to date database of all your customers and prospects.  You can even subdivide your database into various categories e.g. age group, income level, type of product purchased, etc.

2)        Set up a system of drip mails or repeat promotional announcements to send to your prospects and customers.
  Do this in a tasteful and subtle way.  Send a drip mail or announcement frequently enough to keep your name in front of the potential customer but not so often that your messages are annoying. 

3)        I make it a point to follow up
until the prospect unsubscribes from my list or tells me they are no longer interested. 

4)        Purchase an auto responder.
  I use Constant Contact for my drip mailings and newsletters.  You can easily create beautiful promotional mailings, announcements, and newsletters with this program.  Be sure to use only opt-in leads with Constant Contact otherwise purchase a more general type of auto responder.

5)        Have promotions from time to time. 
It is not surprising that people will make that purchase when the price is right. 

6)        An informative, content rich newsletter makes a good follow up piece to send out.
  Your prospect will appreciate the timely information and good content.

7)        Remember to send out holiday cards
, not just at Christmas and New Years, but for other important holidays as well.

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