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IRL needs follow up

Just sneaking in before midnight local time here.

Thanks to reader Chris Ortolano for his response to Friday’s article about relationships and IRL marketing being a permanent and defensible channel because of how poorly they scale:

Any marketing : email, direct dial, social, direct mail, pods, posts, and IRL should reference to some form of cornerstone content. And all marketing is related, so channels needs to run in parallel. At the end of the day, the follow up is key, regardless of the marketing channels. Always be following up! Focus on the cornerstone content and the rest will follow ; )

Yes and yes. Cornerstone content and follow up are key. I couldn’t agree more.

His advice is timeless, and speaks to a bigger truth about all of our new business generation efforts: they need to work together as a system.

So if you’re going to CEO meetups to give a talk focused on your proprietary methods, you have to have a low-friction way for them to learn more about you, without the need to sign up for a sales pitch.

Or if you’re going to the trouble (and expense) of buying a table at a conference to promote your brand and pick up some new, high-value customers, invest equally in your presence at the conference, and what happens after. As an example, you might create a follow up map that looks something like this:

This isn’t nearly as ambitious as it could be, either. I once did a webinar with, a leading sales enablement platform, and they drove 500 registrations to the live webinar. I asked them what they did with the leads they created, and they had follow up pathways for every category of lead that signed up: show ups, no shows, highly engaged, no engagement, hottest leads. At a minimum, every single one of those 500 registrants would receive a few relevant emails and a phone call.

The point is this: your IRL and digital can work in tandem, and you’re losing out on a significant percentage of new business opportunities if you’re not employing diligent and (somewhat) automated follow up. The goal here isn’t to remove the human touch from the equation. Just the opposite, actually: the goal is to become superhuman.

Going back to the original argument that started all of this, you need to solidify your expertise and develop authority to escape the commoditization trap. In order to do that, you have to demonstrate your expertise on a regular basis, i.e. create wonderfully useful content, i.e. cornerstone content.

As Chris points out, having follow up that drives the curious and not-yet-ready-to-buy to your best cornerstone content is the best path forward.

ABFU (always be following up).