This is a guest blog post from our resident magician and trade show guru, Anders Boulanger – The Infotainer. See if your personal persistence measures up to Anders’ follow up techniques.
I just returned from a trade show for a division of Siemens. As many of you know, Siemens is a huge company, and it was my first opportunity to work for a real “A-list” multinational corporation. After meeting with the marketing manager and the VP of Marketing on the morning of the opening day of the show, the VP said at the end of the meeting, “You certainly are persistent!”
He was referring to my ability to follow up. After a day or two of the booth staff watching me work, this vice president was asked numerous times, “Where did you find this guy?” and he’d tell them the story of how I approached him.
Way back in 2010 I first made contact by cold calling the company. I sent a couple of emails to follow up the initial phone call. I was then given permission to keep in touch.
The next year I did something that I haven’t done for any other company. I created a custom video filmed in front of a green screen. I had just purchased a cheap kit off eBay and wanted to put it to use, so I set the video in a virtual studio and put the company’s logo up on the screen of a TV in the background.
At that time the company was called Ruggedcom. In the video I demonstrated an effect I would use to symbolize their value proposition. The VP thought the video was “interesting,” but it still didn’t result in any business.
Another year rolled around with another phone call, and this time he asked for a proposal for a trade show called DistribuTech. Unfortunately, the budget didn’t work out and there was still no business as a result of that initial cold call.
In the meantime, I made an effort to stay top-of-mind by making my emails stand out by sending custom name emails (as seen on the right).
After a total of 13 emails and five phone calls over 3-1/2 years, and after the company was acquired by Siemens, they approached me and I booked a five-figure contract for a three day show in San Antonio.
The Fortune really is in the follow up!
I know that you are supposed to follow up. Intellectually, I know that it’s an important part of marketing. My take-away from this experience is that if the company literally doesn’t say, “stop calling me,” and they are still a viable prospect, then just keep on keeping on.
In hindsight, the custom video put me on their radar. The custom image emails captured their attention. The multiple normal emails and phone calls kept me top-of-mind.
Everything you do to position yourself as the solution adds up in the end.
There is a cumulative effect of all the drips that you drop on your potential clients. It’s just nice to have a reminder and to be rewarded once in a while, knowing that what you are doing in your marketing is worth the effort.
What types of channels do you use? Emails, letters, postcards, phone calls?
One very memorable follow up you can use, that I have employed in the past, is to Sendaball. You can literally send a large coloured ball with a message on it like “Let’s get the ball rolling” anywhere in the United States for about $20.
By changing up the mode of how you engage your prospects, you make the follow up more interesting… and tolerable. In some cases your recipients are actually looking forward to what you’ll do next.
What do you do in your marketing to continue to follow up?
Please share your thoughts and best practices below, or on our CAPS Manitoba Facebook Page so that others can benefit.
Interactive Corporate Entertainer
If you liked this article, then check out Ander’s previous guest blog: How Social Media Quintupled My Traffic