Develop a Keep In Touch Strategy For Sales Growth

Research shows that approx 50% of all sales are made on or after four points of contact.

How do you keep in touch (KIT) with your clients? Do you have a KIT strategy?

Most clients  only buy when the sales person or selling organisation has established a degree of trust and empathy that instils sufficient confidence in the buyers mind to part with cash. Building trust and empathy with clients does not happen overnight. It takes time and effort. In some situations you will have to “touch” the client many times before you make a sale.

Developing and implementing an effective strategy to keep in touch with clients is therefore essential if you want to see your sales grow.

So how do we keep in touch? There are two principle means of keeping in touch with clients.

  1. Face to Face
  2. Indirect

Face to face encounters include meetings, exhibitions, association meetings, general networking etc.

Networking is a powerful part of a keep in touch strategy. Networking allows you to meet existing and potential clients in a friendly and non threatening atmosphere. Over several weeks clients will come to recognise you and begin to build trust in you as an individual. Trust and sales performance go hand in hand. Regular contact is an essential part of developing trust.

So where should I carry out my networking?

Most industries have a trade association which host networking events. Join at least one trade association and resolve to meet as many people as possible. Always follow up chance meetings with a phone call or at least a “Nice to meet you” e-mail.

Check out your local chamber of commerce. They hold regular network events where you can meet other business people and assess whether or not there may be potential to do business. The Institute of Directors in another member  association who hold regular networking and briefing meetings for directors.

Check out your local university and colleges who often hold network events for local businesses. Local newspapers post regular business briefings and also announce local business network meetings.

Sign up to relevant trade association newsletters. These often provide invaluable information on forthcoming events, industry statistics and often have a spotlight briefing on a successful business story. They can be a good source of leads too.

Social media is in fashion. Networking over the internet is becoming more acceptable. LinkedIn is a good example of a free social media service where you can connect with other industry professionals and decision makers.

Finding creative ways to keep in touch is a key skill for any professional sales person. The more points of contact you have with a prospect the more likely you are to develop a ongoing sales relationship.

What should I do when I meet someone at a networking or association event?

When meeting someone at a networking meeting or exhibition ensure you keep to the following guidelines;

• Show interest in the other party and their organisation by asking relevant open ended questions.

• Do not try to sell them something at the first point of contact.

• Moreover establish if it would be appropriate for you to meet them later to discuss exploring opportunities to work together.

• Exchange details if appropriate.

• Follow up with a telephone call or e-mail within a relatively short period.

Indirect Methods

A newsletter is an excellent way of keeping in touch with existing and prospective clients. Make sure that your newsletter contains a variety of topics that will keep your clients interested. Use it to demonstrate your level of expertise in your chosen field and not as a “buy from us today” communique. That way the client will look forward to receiving the newsletter and when they are next in need of your products,or expertise you will be at the forefront of their mind.

Set up a google alert so you can track what is happening in the clients world. Drop them a letter of congratulations when you hear of good news. Maybe they have just won a new contract or opened a new office. Whatever it is find a way to let them know you are still interested in them.

Subscribe to industry specific journals. This provides you with up to date information on your clients. You may even consider advertising in journals where they advertise.

If you are exhibiting at a conference why not invite prospects and existing clients to visit your stand to bring them up to date about your new products etc.

Invite them to a company open day.

There are lots of different ways to keep in touch. Be creative. You might just be pleased with the result.

Work at keeping in touch. In the end it will pay dividends!