Tales from the Customer is an ongoing series of discussions on the virtues of good customer relationship management. For more tales, click here.
H.G. Wells’ harrowing tale of The Invisible Man is a classic of the horror genre. It’s the dream of any child to be able to walk about unseen. Yet for Griffin (the alias of the Invisible Man), this invisibility becomes a curse that only brings out the worst in him, dashing his hopes for fame and success.
In customer relationships and project management, you can also be invisible, but this hands-off approach will only lead to lost sales and failed projects. If you want to achieve success with customers and jobs, you must be in the trenches and on top of everything.
The Invisible Man Loses Customer Relationships
One of the most important elements of sales, and customer interactions in general, is the follow up. You can have the greatest pitch in the world, but if you never follow up, the chances of that lead turning into a sale becomes very slim.
Even in project management, following up on progress and completion provides accountability that would be completely missing if you were simply invisible.
Following Up with New Leads
In a perfect world, a salesperson would only have to make the first pitch to make a lasting sale. Heck, in an even more perfect world the customers would come to you.
Alas, we live in a world that requires a bit more effort than that.
A strong sales strategy involves consistent follow up. At the end of every conversation, be sure to set up a time when you can talk again. Explain what the follow up is for and make sure they leave without questions.
Then, set a reminder or a task in your CRM to remind you of the follow up appointment. Log notes on what you need to verify so that you can keep them moving down the funnel.
It’s a strong, scheduled follow up that will keep the information and decision fresh in the new leads’ minds. It will also make them accountable and be a catalyst for a solid decision of yes or no.
Following Up with Customers
Once the lead becomes a sale, the relationship isn’t over. In fact, it’s only beginning.
Customers, like new leads, need nurturing in order to remain strong and loyal. Consistent, caring follow up with customers will show them that you care and value their business.
In the Frankenstein episode of Tales from the Customer, we went over a few techniques you can apply to keep customers alive. Follow these and think of some creative ways that you can keep in touch and show your appreciation.
Following Up on Jobs and Projects
In order to get the most out of your projects and jobs, the follow up must be employed. Jobs can go over budget, projects can go over time, and some things just never get done if no one keeps asking about them.
The best project managers strive to get the most out of each team member in terms of efficiency, creativity, productivity, and timely completion. Invisible project managers, on the other hand, instead of being met with success are constantly facing delays, budget issues, and unmotivated team members.
In projects, like with customers and leads, being invisible can be a horror story for your company. Always follow up and stay on top of the things that are are important for the continuing success for your company. By doing so, you will have greater success and efficiency in your customer relationships and in your jobs.