Following Up Leads To Lost Business … Following Through Increases Sales

People will tell you that following up is key to effective marketing and closing more sales. As a marketing coach, I think this is pure horse hockey, and I’ll tell you why.

When we think of following up, we think of an act that is separate from the main tactic we used. This, I believe, is where a disconnect originates. To look at it this way allows us to rationalize not doing it, believing that the most important work has already been done and that should be enough. Bull cookies!

Like proper preparation, following up is extremely important … to the point where it often is the difference between success and failure. That’s why I suggest you refer to it as following through. Following up is a separate act. Following through is the completion of an act.

Let’s go to sports for a couple of analogies. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know anything about sports to understand these. Without an effective follow through, a baseball pitcher’s effectiveness is greatly diminished. It’s the difference between merely throwing a baseball toward home plate and actually placing the ball where he wants it to be. It’s the difference between the pitcher being in control or just hoping things work out well. In hockey, the velocity of a shot is caused by the swinging of the stick. However, it is the follow through that determines the accuracy of the shot. In both instances, the follow through is what determines the overall success.

In marketing, it’s the same way. Direct mail’s effectiveness is greatly increased when you follow through with a phone call. Likewise, the impression you make on someone you meet is more powerful and more professional when you follow through with a personal note. And when you promise to do something for someone, your credibility is bolstered when you follow through.

Stop considering following up and start following through. It may just seem like a play-on-words, but you’ll see a world of difference in your mindset and your results.