If you have been around network marketing or any sales program, you will have heard the expression: “The fortune is in the follow-up.” The reason is simple. If you don’t follow-up with a prospect, you’ll never make any money.
But people are busy, so timing is everything. Consider your own life. How many offers have you personally received to buy something that you ignored or said, “No thanks”? Then, later in life, maybe even the same week, you ran across the same person (or someone else selling the same thing) and bought it from them after thinking about it more.
The moral is to never give up the first time that prospects say, “No, thank you.” In fact, many sales trainers say to not stop until you have had seven “no” responses. Personally, I don’t usually go that high because I don’t want to feel like a stalker, but I think you get the idea that you don’t stop at just the first “no.”
This chapter focuses on automating your follow-ups because there is already a lot of information available on the internet about how to do it manually. Besides, automated follow up, done properly, is much more of a secret.
Think about all of the hard work you did by prospecting them. Maybe you wowed them with your incredible products or service. Perhaps you talked to them about the business opportunity.
Then, you hear, “This sounds interesting. Can you send me some information? Do you have a website?” or something like that. You woke them up to your products or opportunity, and then they want more information or maybe even to sign up! If you wait too long to reconnect with them, then they will ask their friends, and someone else who is more than willing than you to follow up and enroll them, will do so. In fact, you might even see them at the next convention, all excited that they are on the convention stage as a new leader — on someone else’s team!
Don’t let this happen! You committed to your prospect, and you get to do just that. But what do you do? There is a lot of training about how to follow up with prospects. Some are product-centered, and others are business-centered.
The approach you choose is up to you, but all them require you to reconnect in a consistent and organized way.
There are two ways to reconnect with your prospects. One uses manual methods of picking up the “500-pound phone,” sending texts, using Facebook Messenger, or emails for follow-up. However, if you are like most new distributors, you might suffer from a little fear about what to do next or what messages to send them.
Or maybe you are not well organized and have lots of slips of paper or napkin pieces with names and numbers on them but don’t remember where you met the prospects, what their challenges or health concerns are, or even who they are.
For you, I would recommend a semi-automated app on your phone or computer that captures their information, automatically sends them the information they requested, and even reminds you to do your follow-up call or email. The better apps will also ask for information to put your contacts into groups and will automatically send out follow-up emails and text messages based on the group or campaign you put them in.
Let’s get into each of these types of follow-up methods.
The manual method of following up with prospects requires you to be disciplined and very organized. Otherwise, you will either forget to call them back or lose the lead altogether.
As we’ve discussed, prospects buy from people they know, like, and trust. Following up is all about relationship building and giving them what they asked for (or need).
I recommend using a printed form that helps you track the stages of each of your leads. You will always be able to review the details of each lead you are about to call. All excellent training courses will include a prospect-tracking worksheet you can use to stay on top of it. The better forms are highly optimized for your business and even tie into weekly tracking forms.
Knowing what their issues are will make you appear much more professional and interested in them, which will help with the essential elements of know, like, and trust.
Daily review of your “hot leads” will help you avoid forgetting to reconnect.
Contrary to all the artificial intelligence stuff you hear about on the news, computers are still good at one thing: repetitively doing mindless tasks. The challenge in the past was that it required being a software developer to figure out how to make computers do what you want. If you didn’t have those skills, it would cost hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars to develop – way outside the reach of everyday small-business owners.
Mobile Apps Can Simplify Your Life
The great news is that in just the past few years, very powerful software has become available to you on your smartphone in the form of apps. You already use powerful apps like Facebook, Messenger, texting, email, Twitter, Instagram, and others to send and receive messages with friends and business associates. Here are a few more examples:
- Web browsers to access the internet (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.)
- Video conference apps for live meetings with your teams
- Street and hiking map apps so you don’t get lost
- Banking apps to manage your finances
- Password apps so you don’t forget passwords
Apps can simplify your life in so many ways. They can also simplify your connection and follow-up process with prospects.
You can now download a simple-to-use app to completely automate the follow-up process you previously did manually on paper receipts and tracking systems. The crazy thing is these apps are not that expensive for what you get out of them. Let’s face it; you probably spend more than five dollars on a fancy coffee and don’t even really think twice about it. What if you skipped a few of those coffees in a month and put that money into an app that could save you tons of time and boost your business to new levels by allowing you to follow up in a more timely manner? You could be a couple of cups of coffee or a few bottles of water away from making follow-ups a breeze!
Here are some of the advantages of using automation for your follow-up:
- Reduced stress: Think about how much easier it will be and how much more time you will have in your life if you don’t need to find those little pieces of paper you wrote prospects’ names on!
- No more tracking sheets to keep all the prospects organized.
- Daily reminders of who to reconnect with and when.
- Very professional approach to connecting with new prospects.
- No more picking up the “500-pound phone” to call a person whose number you wrote down on a slip of paper, a napkin, or store receipt.
- No crushes to your ego: If they don’t reply, no worries; your automation will keep following up for you. No more sinking feeling of no one picking up the phone or responding to your text. When they do respond, it will feel good to pick up the phone again!
A good app will help you with a daily task list and multiple ways to follow up with prospects in the way they prefer (phone, text, email, messenger, etc.).
Here is an example of how you could easily add a new contact using a simple app with hidden sophistication.
Imagine you meet Susie, and the conversation gets to your amazing product and you “wow” her with it.
She says, “WOW, this is nice. Where did you buy it?”
You respond, “These are things I sell in my business, so you can get them from me.”
Susie says, “Do you have a business card or website?”
You say, “I don’t have any cards with me, but I can do better.” Then you pop open your mobile app and say, “Susie, what’s your email address? I’ll send you a link to an easy-to-understand website that will explain everything.”
After entering it, you say, “Great. If you want, I can text the link to you right now. Would you like that?”
She says, “Yes,” and you enter her cell number.
Next, you click on the desired “campaign” (automated follow-up email and text message sequence) you want to add her to, and you see a dropdown selection of things like these:
- Product prospect
- Business prospect
- Event gift
Alternately, you can just create your own selection and choose that one.
Want to add her as a friend on your phone too? (Maybe she’s not just a business contact.) Just click the “add to phonebook” checkbox to do that.
Next, you click all the groups you want to add her to. Examples include:
- Met at the farmers market
- Hot lead
- Massage therapist
- Animal lover
- Loves BOGOs
Of course, you can create your own groups if you prefer.
Next, you can add a follow-up reminder task in a day or two that will pop up on your mobile app.
You can also use the notes area to write in anything else that’s important. Examples would be “Wants product info” or “Son has a knee injury” or “Gets frequent headaches,” or something else that is important to her.
Seeing these notes will help you later when you get a follow-up reminder in your automated “Today’s Tasks” list.
Then you click “Save” and their phone goes “ding,” and Susie says, “WOW! That was fast!”
Now the heavy lifting begins! The automation takes over and sends you both personalized follow-up information emails.
The app should be simple enough to not require you to use the website if you are happy with the default selections or until you want to start customizing them.
Recommended App Features and Functions
Here are some of my strong recommendations for the essential features and services you’ll want to have in an excellent mobile follow-up app:
- Is simple to learn and intuitive to use. If not, you won’t use it (or at most, you’ll use it for only a few months).
- Won’t lose your data. It would be very frustrating to store the data and then lose it. Ever tried adding a new prospect into your mobile phone book (yes, the one with 1000 contacts) and then forget the person’s name so you don’t know where to find it? You might as well have just lost the piece of paper! That’s frustrating!
- Is highly automated. It should be easy for you to use (with all the complicated stuff hidden away). You don’t want to have to learn the intricacies of programming automated email sequences, websites, and task reminders.
- Offers a simple way to broadcast an email from the app to the chosen group(s) of people. Perhaps you want to send today’s BOGOto a select BOGO group. Or, maybe you want to send a group email to your team builders or hot leads or new distributor or customer, etc. You get the idea.
- Includes pre-canned automation sequences but also provides a way to customize both automated and broadcast messages. Maybe the canned email and text message sequences are too long, or the messages don’t feel personalized from you. You might want a custom email sequence you can drop people into when you enter their name or at some later time.
- Is highly optimized for your MLM business. If it isn’t, it probably won’t be intuitive, easy to set up, or easy to use.
- Works offline. Your app must be able to capture information when you are offline and automatically work correctly (like text messages) when you are back online. Examples include meeting someone on a hike, in a bad cell area, out of the country, on an airplane, or within an overloaded cellular network (think 30,000 people at the convention). You will expect your app to work in all conditions, automatically.
- Works across various message services. It should allow you to call, text, message, and email messages when following up manually.
- Easily allows you to send prewritten broadcast messages to groups. Having pre-written emails you can customize that can be sent to your custom groups of people from your smart phone will save you a lot of time.
- Easily set the next follow-up date. If we don’t stay on top of it, people you meet will fall through the cracks. The mobile app should have a simple way to add a follow up task for days or weeks into the future. Then, when the day arrives that the task is to be completed, it will pop up to remind you.
- Sends helpful email notifications for you. The app should allow you to send automated reminders to yourself in any of the automated email campaigns, so you know what the prospects received. The emails could be the same or a shorter summary of the emails sent out.
- Sends helpful email reminders for you to do things. For example, eleven days after Susie enrolls, it should remind you like this: “It has been almost two weeks since Susie joined your team. How is she doing?”
- Is low cost so your downline builders can also afford to use it. A low cost allows them to duplicate what you do as they build their business.
- Includes a web “back office” for advanced users that allows all kinds of customization The ability to customize automated campaigns, emails, and texts will enable advanced users to be able to stay on the same platform rather than having to learn a new one as their business grows.
- The web “back office” should include an option for users to easily create custom websites linked to their campaigns and have a way to buy custom domain names. It should allow importing and exporting of contacts and data, and it should provide a calendar interface to help you see past and future tasks.
- Provides a way for creators of campaigns to share them with their team and maybe even sell them! Once you create your cool campaigns, emails, and websites templates, you should be able to “duplicate” and share them with your team. You will save them time and will help them build faster.
- Provides a simple way to do the following:
- List today’s tasks with the ability to quickly move each to the future and connect in multiple ways (phone call, text, FB Messenger, email).
- List contacts with different sort options (date, when met, team, last seven days or other sorting tags).
- Add a new contact, select campaign, add notes, add new contact to multiple groups, and a personal referral, all from an easy-to-understand single screen.
- Send customizable prewritten broadcast announcement emails to chosen group(s).
Using automation can save you a lot of time when prospecting for your business. It can also help you significantly in the nurturing phase of a business, which occurs after a prospect has signed up and is now either a distributor or customer. Each type of recipient would benefit from a campaign personalized to their needs and wants, so be sure to group your contacts correctly. You wouldn’t send automated emails about how to enroll people to someone who just wants to buy products!
The ability to send personalized email broadcasts from your phone to specific groups of people is also very useful. For example, you could send monthly specials to all who are in the “Wants BOGO info” group. In this case, these could include both customers and distributors.
Face it, automation is here to stay, and it is already making lives better for network marketers who are taking advantage of it. For those who don’t, there are always forms and pencils, calendars, and of course, the 500-pound phone.
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