In the Billy Crystal movie, City Slickers, crusty old cowboy Curly says, “Want to know what life is really about? It’s about one thing. That’s it. Focus on that and the rest don’t mean ___ .” (If you can’t fill in the blank yourself, watch the movie!)

Billy Crystal’s character is struggling to get out of the doldrums and make his life better. He eventually finds his “one thing” in a typical Hollywood ending.

I watched that movie again with my 12-year-old daughter (for some unexplainable reason she loves it) and it got me thinking: Is there a “one thing” a business owner can do to get out of the doldrums and make his or her marketing work better?

I realized that there is.

In fact, there is one thing you can do right now to dramatically improve the results you’re getting from your sales letters, emails, networking, quoting, presenting or just about anything else you’re doing to land new clients and projects.

And for the most part, it doesn’t cost you a cent.

That one thing is: follow-up.

Follow-up is the whole key to successful marketing. I’ve worked with dozens of business owners who have put together simple follow-up plans that have doubled their response rates and attracted new clients and more sales, sooner.

For example, if you craft a terrific direct mail letter offering a compelling special report of some kind to a well-targeted list, chances are you’re going to get some decent results.

However, if you follow up (or have someone else follow-up) on those letters with a phone call or email (or both) you’ll double those results. I see it all the time among the clients I work with.

So I recommend you:

  • Follow up on the quotations you send.
  • Follow up on the contacts you meet at networking events and online forums.
  • Follow up with those who subscribe to your e-newsletter or download your special report.
  • Follow up with old clients you haven’t heard from for a while.
  • Follow up with anyone who has ever given you a referral. (They might do so again.)
  • Follow up on every project you complete for a client. (They might give you another one!)
  • Follow up with clients who contacted you but hired someone else. (Things change.)

There are few certainties in marketing, but follow-up is one of them. It’s your “one thing”, as cowboy Curly calls it, that will get you better results.

Steve Slaunwhite
Marketing Coach & Author

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