"A mastiff dog may love a puppy cur for no more reason than that the twain have been tied up together."
--- Alfred Tennyson
Now is the time to follow up with those prospects of old. Remember, it was only a short time ago some of us were singing "Old acquaintances should not be forgotten" or something like that. Anyway, this is the time to renew those relationships.
If you make an effort to get into the face or mind of your prospects, your chances of them calling you with their business can be increased significantly. You don't have to be a pest, but just available.
"Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners."
--- Jimmy Stewart
Come up with a reason for calling your prospects. There are many reasons for calling. Check your file or Customer Relationship Management software for likes and dislikes of your prospect (you did record this information, right?). If he was interested in resilient vinyl, call him to let him know of a new product you can get for him. If she likes the new LED lights on Broadway, call to let her know that you found a way to create a sign that looks like it should be in Times Square.
Come up with a reason for calling and staying fresh in the mind of your prospects. Don't use cheap flattery or lie about calling. Truly think of a way to help your prospect and call with that in mind.
"A man trying to sell a blind horse always praises its feet."
--- German Proverb
Another good way to stay fresh in the eyes of your prospect is to make it a point to contact them on a regular basis. Come up with your own company letter singing your praises to send to them, either by email or snail mail. Include helpful tips for marketing a business, keeping track of taxes, etc.
This is a good way to provide information on a recurring basis and still let your prospects know that you are there for them.
"A business exists to create a customer."
--- Peter Drucker
Next, find a way to send out something tangible to your prospects. Some companies can send samples. That is great! Others cannot and so have to be creative and send promotional items with their company name on them. These should be items that the prospect can use.
If promotional items and samples cannot be sent, send cookies, tickets to ball games, or helpful books. It doesn't have to cost you a fortune, but should be valuable to your prospect.
"Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them."
--- W. Edwards Deming
Finally, don't be afraid to toot your horn. Use testimonies from satisfied customers to show prospects how good you really are. Send them in your newsletter or in a follow-up letter after your first meeting. This shows your prospects an unbiased point of view and gives references that help to put your prospects at ease.
"Remember, you only have to succeed the last time."
--- Brian Tracy
Put it on your calendar and make it a habit to follow up with prospects from trade shows, phone inquires, referrals, and your sales calls. It is really up to you to turn these prospects into lifelong customers. It only takes a little time and energy, but puts you far ahead of the competition.
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Both were developed in the international arena and both have already influenced chemical policy well beyond their original borders.
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In a Podiatrist's window in New Jersey:
On a sign in a convenience store in Sacramento CA:
"Golden, Ripe, Boneless Bananas, 39 Cents A Pound."
As seen on an electric cattle prod:
"For use on animals only"
If you've read these before, sorry, but if you haven't sent in any new ones, shame on you. We know those funny signs are out there. Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: firstname.lastname@example.org.