Submit Payment. *Click* You’ve just place your order online. Yes – that brand new Nutri-Something-I-Didn’t-Know-I-Needed blender is on sale and you just happened to be the lucky number 1,498,012th person to order one. Lucky you. You wait with bated breath every afternoon rushing home to see if you can perhaps – by some stroke of God-given luck – beat the man in the brown truck (UPS guy) to your door. Maybe… just maybe, you’ll see that box sitting their at your doorstep in all its glory just waiting to blend up all that goodness inside your fridge into a delicate puree that would make even the refined palate of Martha Stuart drool in envy.

But there’s nothing. No blender of awesomeness. No box. No brown truck. Just a bank statement saying you’ve dished out the green stuff for the ever elusive goods. What gives?! You write an email – timidly yet respectfully requesting more information on your would-be blender. Days pass and you’ve not heard a word. You try again – this time, their call line. A 25 minute wait?! Yeah – no. You’ve got stuff to do and things to blend. You send them a Facebook message. Still – nothing.

Your would-be-fandom slowly deteriorates into a growing hatred fueled by distrust. You held up your end of the bargain! A simple email would have sufficed. A confirmation. A tracking number. A “thanks for the money” text. Anything. But nope – you’re stuck in a world of no response.

^ This scenario is most restoration companies and their agent, property management, and home owner clients. Let me explain – first with the agents.

Agent John Smith (original right?) met you, the restoration marketer, the other day when you happened to stop by to invite their office to an upcoming CE Class covering the titillating topic of a water loss. Agent John takes an immediate liking to you and grabs your business card on the way out. “I’ll give you a try” he says after explaining how his experience with [insert competing restoration company here] has left him and his insureds with a lot to be wanting. Yes – you’ve scored. Cha-ching. Start warming up your end zone dance routine.

The next day, a loss is taken. It was from Agent John’s insured. Says the agent recommended your company. You get the commission and you’re out. Not your problem anymore, right? That’s mitigation’s problem. You take your money to the nearest blender store and the circle of life continues (ok – scratch the blender part… I’m getting carried away). But you’ve committed the cardinal sin of selling-after-the-sale. We work in a weird industry and your calling card after a claim is following up with the agent, the home owner, the property manager – whomever. YOUR JOB AS A MARKETER IS TO FOLLOW UP.

Stop looking at me with those puppy dog eyes. I’ll tell you how to come up with the perfect followup packet.

How to Give the Perfect Followup Packet

What You’ll Need:

  1. Pictures – yes. Get to whatever project manager is on that claim and get pictures from them. It isn’t hard – most PM’s are required to grab pictures anyways. Who cares if the job is nowhere near completion – we just want pictures.
  2. A Comment Card – you’ll need to check in with the homeowner to see how they think the project is going. By this point in the loss, your company hasn’t had a chance to really mess anything up, so if your communication is on point, this referral should be nothing but music to your referring client’s ears. Make a quick call to the insured and jot it down in an easy-to-read word document. Bam – that’s all you need.
  3. A Thank You Card – hey, this guy is giving you a shot and you are going to need to thank him. Hand written (yes – I’m talking to even you sloppy writers) thank you card signed by yours truly with your business card neatly tucked in and a quick note saying “Hey – if you need anything, let me know.”
  4. Make It Personal. You know the referring client better than I do. What did he have on his desk? Pictures of his dog? Throw in a dog toy. A signed baseball? Grab a box of cracker jacks. This is not a bribe so all of you who are screaming “TREASON” can hush. This is the thing that’ll make Agent John remember your company for the next loss and make him remember you for all eternity. Keep it personal and don’t spend over $5 to $10 bucks.

Next Step: Delivery.

This should really be done no less than a week after the loss. Hey – it’s a followup and your referring client will probably want to know what his insured is doing and how things are going. He put his name on the line for you – make him look good for it. That’s the biggest compliment you can pay anyone. Have the pictures pre-printed neatly in a manila folder with your thank you card nicely tucked inside. Attach a second business card using a paperclip to the outside of the folder and write the claimant’s last name on the outside. Proceed to put memorable thank you give on top of folder and hand deliver to referring client. Sit back. Watch the referrals roll in.

Now the followup doesn’t stop there, my friend. Wash, rinse, and repeat every month (this time without the thank you card or the gift) (or every other month) until the job has reached completion. If there are issues, fix them and let your referring client know what the issues were and how they were resolved. If you let your mind venture back to our blender-blunder scenario you’ll remember what our sentiments were – it definitely wasn’t “no news is good news.” If you want an update – whether good or bad – so do your clients.

An added benefit of “the followup” is that it allows you to have an excuse to visit referring clients. So often I hear agents and property managers moan and groan when referencing “too persistent” restoration marketers who interrupt their busy schedules to sit down and “chat”. I roll my eyes in agreement every time – it is all about VALUE ADDED, people! Come on! Only stop by a client office if you have something to offer them – a followup, an invitation, a letter of recommendation from a client, hell, a birthday cake for their dog, Fido!

So go forth. Create your ultimate followup packet. and Followup.

 

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