On any given work day, your to-do list is probably a few pages long. Cold calls, in-person meetings, networking, prospecting, training, personnel issues, administrative tedium - you know the list goes on and on. It's almost guaranteed that one process will get sidelined for another one when you're in the midst of the daily craziness and bogged down with work. That's just the nature of the game. But there's a very important process you may be bypassing that's costing you something a lot more valuable than time.
The number one misstep most sales people tend to make is in the follow through. Even with your best intentions, with everything else going on, it's an easy step to miss. You make a call, things go well, you assume you're going to hear from them soon, and then poof, forgotten. By both of you most likely. Out of sight, out of mind, onto the next.
There are a laundry list of reasons why following up with clients is so important but the main reason is and will always be customer service. It's a way to show your potential client the way you do business before they even begin doing business with you. It's a gesture that says, "I'm attentive. I'm here for you. This is the service you can expect when you do business with me." And please don't mistake the follow-up to land the client to be more important than the follow-up to keep the client. Staying in regular contact with customers gives them the security of knowing that you're there to answer questions and help with issues long after you've made the sale. This is key to long-term business relationships.
On the flip side, if you end a meeting with a client saying that you're going to reach out and then you fail to, you're telling them they can't count on you from the get go. That's a chance you can't risk taking.
One problem many agents, especially independent agents face, is bandwidth. There just simply isn't time to make the calls because of everything else that needs to get done. Automation software services like Agency Elephant can help you create an entire automated follow up campaign so that important calls (or emails, or text messages) like this don't get overlooked.
If you're a small agency owner who relies on referral marketing for new business, this is crucial. You can't risk losing clients before you've even had a chance to win their business. Your best foot is the only one you have to put forward and that foot comes in the form of following up.