This could be straight from Shakespeare:
Two Companies, both alike in dignity,
In fair marketplace, where we lay our scene,
From ancient trading break to new warfare,
Where corporate blood makes civil hands unclean.
On second thoughts, apologies to Shakespeare and his lovers. Let’s start again.
Here is a story of two companies. In their quest for more business and ever increasing sales they have exposed themselves to the marketplace. Their approach so different and their results also differ.
The unnamed company attended an event where Danielle was a sponsor. Throughout the course of the two day event, the sales manager of the company had a brief chat with Danielle and they exchanged cards. When quizzed Danielle could not remember much about the company and she said there was not really much of a connection.
Two days after the event Danielle received a long, long, long email. No doubt it was skilfully crafted. But it went on and on (and on and on) about how good their company was, all the things they could do, what Danielle’s company needed from them (the content showed they had not even had a look at her website to find out more about her company) and how Danielle should call them soon to order some products and services.
Laughter, forwarding the email to me with a comment “Look at this poor followup” and then the Delete button.
Don’t get me wrong, the timing of the followup was great. The intent was in the right place but the execution (so typical in this day of easy emailing) lacked as did the outcome.
Let me introduce you to Cleansui Water Filtration.
Danielle was at a function that they were a sponsor of (yes Danielle is the better networker!!) Danielle was fortunate enough to take one of these jugs home.
A couple of months after the event Danielle received this email
Hi there Danielle,
Hope things are well with you and your family.
It’s been 4 months since we met you at the Social Mums Say at Fed Square so I’m just dropping you a line to see how things are going with your Cleansui Water Filter Jug, we hope you’re still getting a lot of use from it!
We are in the process of re-launching the Cleansui.com.au website (we’re a few weeks away) with an updated look and an updated user interface. One of the features on the website will be a review panel under each of our products, so we’re in the process of gathering comments on from our Jug users that we can include in this section.
Would you be interested in writing a few lines on your experience with the product that we could use?
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
So it wasn’t a random “Buy more of our Stuff” but a personally directed and engaging email with purpose. What followed was an email exchange with personality, fun and engagement.
Now I am not saying that Cleansui did it perfectly and I am not saying that Company 1 would not have had any response but your followup does need some consideration. Here are some things to consider:
- Why are you doing it?
- What outcome do you want from it?
- What format will be best for the target?
- What will best get you the results you are after?
- How can you make it about them?
- When is the best time for it?
- How will you measure if it is successful?
- What training do you need to make it more successful?
- Who is the best person to do it?
In our experience sending blanket emails does nothing but waste electrons. For new prospects a telephone call within 2 business days is best and for existing customers a physical mail out gives the best results.
So how about you? When you exhibit and sponsor, how is your follow up?