The art of the follow-up: 3 ways to engage clients
Every sales professional has experienced the frustration of the follow-up to a meeting — the unanswered voice messages, wasted emails, or the “not interested” replies. Traditional follow-up techniques often fail because they don’t feel personal enough to the customer. Meanwhile, reaching out to prospects in-person isn’t always practical because on-site meeting invites may be costly or inefficient.
In a recent IDG survey, 44% of respondents cited travel delays, costs, or impact to productivity as the top hurdles they encounter when meeting with business colleagues in person.1 So how do you reach your prospects in the most costeffective way? Many companies are turning to online meeting and video conferencing tools to overcome these challenges.
This checklist highlights three ways your company can use online meetings to engage clients more effectively and lay the groundwork for building profitable relationships.
1. Stay visible with regular meetings
Regularly scheduled meetings with clients can keep project timelines on track, help participants address challenges early in the process, or provide an opportunity to upsell. Online conferences provide many of the same benefits as in-person meetings — but with greater efficiencies. Some of these advantages include the ability to:
- Send invites to recurring meetings that recipients can accept and add to their calendars.
- Email automated meeting reminders.
- Review important documents such as statements of work, schedules, project designs and drafts, or presentations by using screen sharing features.
- Make notations or alter documents on-the-fly in real time using document markup tools.
2. Be creative with meetings to enhance the client experience
Meetings don’t have to be filled with mundane recaps of past sessions or mind-numbing flow charts. Use online meeting tools to:
- Offer an ongoing educational series to clients. Host interactive how-to sessions for a particular product, for example.
- Hold brainstorming or client-feedback sessions to discuss ways to optimize services for customers. This is an ideal time to share performance metrics or other critical measurements using the screen sharing or pass-the-presenter functions.
- Invite clients to serve as subject matter experts for webinars. Clients often appreciate the chance to promote themselves as industry thought leaders.
3. Stay connected through video
A disadvantage of traditional follow-up calls is the inability to command your clients’ full attention. The ability to see participants’ faces using video conferencing:
- Helps build the same type of personal connection with clients typically accomplished in in-person meetings.
- Reduces the temptation to check email, watch a YouTube video or engage in other distracting behaviors during the call.
- Allows participants to see each other’s expressions or body language to gauge interest or general reaction.
Do you have a sure-fire way to seal the deal with customers? Share your expertise in the comments below!
WebEx services scale to your needs, reach wherever you work, and deliver what’s next for your business. For more information, visit www.webex.com or contact sales at 1.877.509.3239.
1 IDG Research Services/Cisco WebEx, Cisco WebEx Customer Research
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