why is consumer relations importantThe art of the follow up is now easier than ever. Why? Because of our increasingly virtual world of electronic media, social media, video, audio, smart phones and goodness knows what else will be available tomorrow! Add these resources to what were used even 10 years ago, and there really is no reason not to follow up, to ask, on a potential sale. There’s so many more follow up tools to choose from now!

One of the biggest mistakes that sales people/business owners make is in not following up with their client relations and potential customers; just because they may not open a new account on the first meeting, doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. Depending on the market you’re in, the sales cycle can take many months, needing lots of contact with potential customers.

Sales people/business owners can now post to their client’s Facebook walls, they can send them a text message, and they can even record a personal video or send an email. On top of this you can now use Skype, Facebook or Google Chat or Hangouts to connect with customers and clients. Add to this the more traditional ways of keeping in touch, like cards, notes and gifts in the regular “snail” mail, there’s no excuses not to follow up.

By checking back with a customer, you show that they are more than just another phone number on the call list. Instead, you went out of your way to connect with them again, even if it is just to say thank you!

I’ve won contracts simply because I was the only person to respond to a request for services (I like to think it was on merit also).

The other thing I’ve learned on client relations is to never assume that you didn’t get the work because you didn’t hear back from the prospect. Ask. Until you know for sure (e.g. by email notification), the game is still on!

While most sales people do consider following up with a potential client, what about your current clients? Do you ever thank them, take them out to lunch or send them a birthday card or gift? Current clients are your biggest fans and the most likely to refer. Stay connected and nurture those relationships! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – it’s the thought that counts.

Remember that a great sales person will always be connected with current customers and will have a plan in place to follow up with future prospects.

What are your best follow up practices for customer relationship?  Please post your comments!