Regardless of how many flyers you give out only a small percentage of businesses are likely to actively seek you and your products out. This can be expected because your target clients are probably busy, hard-working businessmen and women with plenty on their plate. You may not receive a response for any of the following reasons:
They might be interested but are too busy to respond.
They might have another business that fulfils your role for them.
They may not have seen your flyer.
They are not interested at all.
Only the last of these reasons means they won’t do business with you, any of the others could potentially turn into a long-term client. The fact that they have not purchased immediately after receiving your flyer should not stop you from taking further efforts.
However, businesses in these categories can only become clients if you recognize that sales is not a one-time thing: you do not simply hand out a flyer and expect instant results. No, sales is a process of building a business relationship, and your flyer is simply your introductory greeting in what will hopefully be a long and fruitful business conversation.
Flyers and ads are just part of your sales funnel
The mistake of thinking sales is a one-time shot leads to many businesses assuming that taking out an ad or sending out flyers will automatically lead to hundreds of new clients. These actions can certainly lead to huge amounts of new business, but the act of sending out the flyers is just one of several essential steps in the process.
Unless you take these extra steps as well, you may not achieve the full potential sales you hoped for.
To maximize your returns you need to follow up with your target clients, ideally by phone. Sending out flyers can educate clients about your products and services and put your business in their mind but many will not take further action until they’ve spoken to a sales person. If the flyer is an introduction to your business, then your follow-up call is an opportunity for the two parties to get to know each other better.
By simply adding in an extra step to your process and following up on your flyers you can gain a number of benefits. Follow-ups can:
Further remind important potential clients of your business and services.
Project a professional and proactive image of your business.
Improve your credibility.
Present an opportunity for conversation and to build a business relationship.
Lead to future sales.
What are we trying to achieve with a follow-up call?
If we return to our analogy of sales as a relationship, we can see how we should not expect too much from our follow-up call. When we first introduce ourselves in person to someone we do not immediately ask them intimate, personal questions or ask them to do big favors for us – in fact coming on too strong can push people away.
The same can be true for a business relationship. If your one motivation for calling someone is to try to close a sale immediately, you will turn off most of your potential customers, and only get a positive response from the most interested of customers.
To attract the rest, you have to offer something more and show them what’s in it for them. We recommend that in the first follow-up call you focus on the following two ideas:
Finding out how you can help them – Ask them about their business and potential areas where they are struggling. How do you think your business can help? Free and practical advice without expectation of an immediate sale can go a long way to building up trust.
Move them one step along the sales process – When you first call your prospect they will hopefully know who your business is but that’s about it. Instead of trying to sell to them, just move them one step further in the sales process. For example, you might tell them a bit more about your business or agree to send them some detailed information on a product that might help them. It may simply be agreeing to speak again in the future.
Managing multiple business relationships and follow-ups
It goes without saying that once you start following up with multiple target customers it can become hard to remember who you’ve spoken to and what you’ve said.
It is vital that you and your sales team keep excellent records that allow anyone on staff to open a file and know what has been said and what has been offered. Failure to adequately track your business relationships leaves you open to credibility-damaging mistakes such as forgetting someone’s name or failing to follow-through with a promise you made them. For this reason, we recommend that you use a simple database to keep track of all your follow-ups.
At the very least you should consider tracking the following information:
Essential Details – If you forget the business’s name, the name of your contact or their position in their organization you’re going to find making a sale an uphill struggle.
Questions and Promises – Has a prospect asked a question or has your team made a promise to them of any kind? Forgetting to give someone promised information or missing a meeting can seriously damage client relationships.
Position in the Sales Process – How far along in the sales process is this client? Are they are a long-term customer or yet to make a sale? This information is vital because it could drastically affect how you approach a sales conversation.
You might also find the following two helpful:
Objections – What questions or objections is the client putting forward as reasons not to make a purchase? Holding this information is useful because it allows you to spend time considering how to get round that objections. By tracking objections from all your prospective clients you can look for patterns and use them to help improve your products, services, and sales technique.
Personal Information – Obtaining clients is very much a process of building a relationship, both business and personal. You can improve rapport by remembering key details about your target. For example they mention their children or wife – if you note down their names you can ask after them next time you call or visit.
Build relationships and meet needs
Every business you interact with will be different. Each will have its own distinct personality, needs, and desires. The most important takeaway from this article is that a flyer is first and foremost an introduction to a business relationship, not a one-shot magic bullet.
The second is that your flyers and other advertising efforts will be for nothing if you do not build on that introduction, get to know your customers and start understanding their wants and needs.
The better your relationship with your prospective customers and customers the more you’ll know about them and the more information you’ll have to serve them better. The better you serve them, the more likely they’ll make a purchase and the more loyal they will be as customers.