In life, starting is often described as the most difficult challenge of all. According to popular wisdom, the first step you take is always the hardest and scariest, because it signifies change. However, while we focus most strategies on taking the first step, we assume too quickly that the second step will feel more natural.
But, it is a mistake to believe that all you need to grow your business is to take one first step. Will leads come running to your company after that first step? Will investors notice you then? Will partners appear out of the blue after only one step?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the answer is no. While the first step matters, defining what happens next is crucial to creating a stable and profitable business. You need to follow up each new strategy, new lead, new campaign with a powerful second step that seals the deal. If your activities don’t drive a positive chain of reactions, it’s because you might be missing these crucial second steps.
Meeting people is not networking
Networking divides entrepreneurs. While some might be naturally talented at making positive and valuable connections, others struggle with the whole process. Introducing yourself and your business to new people is never going to drive new leads if you don’t make sure there is more to you than a business card. Meeting people is an art.
You need to take the time to establish a connection. It takes only a few minutes to discuss the latest market trends or share a joke about the venue, but it is enough to build your profile. However, if you want people to remember you, you need to follow-up after the networking event. Follow-up is taking the second step. Shoot off an email to present a few ideas to them or grab the phone and call them.
No, the ball is never in your customers’ court
You’ve sent your customers a brilliant offer per email, but you’re still waiting for an answer. Sure, there might be a million reasons why they haven’t come back to you. They might be busy with another project. They might not be interested at the time.
They might not have noticed. However, the chance that a customer replies to your offer after a few days is almost null. If instead of waiting, you create an effective workflow automation that can get back in touch with your customers to prompt a response, you are more likely to boost your leads. Additionally, adding a remarketing strategy for users who rejected the offer can help you to tailor your next email to their needs.
After the sale is before the sale
Every marketer knows that customer retention is more effective than acquisition. In other words, you can’t miss the chance to get in touch with your existing customers. Sending a follow-up email after purchase can help to bring an already positive relationship to the next step. You can share an article about the product they have bought, for instance. Or something cheeky like a selfie of yourself with your cheesiest grin thanking them for their purchase can add a wow factor to the typical thank you email.
Taking the first step in the business world is not sufficient. You need to plan your follow-up strategy, to make sure that each successful first step can drive positive results for a very long time.