When someone follows up on you, it means that you matter. Debbie Hoffman is a follow-up expert and the Founder of the training company, Power Up Your Follow Up. In this episode, she shares her passion for helping entrepreneurs with their follow up. Through her method, Debbie identifies the different challenges entrepreneurs face, including the four key areas where people struggle. Overcoming being disorganized, she discusses the systems that entrepreneurs need to be efficient at in order to succeed and grow. Find out more about all these and more as Debbie dives into follow-ups, languaging, and referrals.
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Power Up Your Follow Up with Debbie Hoffman
We’ve got a great guest on this episode. She is somebody that has some information you have been waiting for. Before I introduce her, I want to remind you to go over and take our Promote Profit Publish Quiz. You can find that at www.PromoteProfitPublishQuiz.com and see how your skillset for platform building is adding up if you’re doing everything you need to do to be successful at this. Our guest is Debbie Hoffman. Debbie Hoffman is a Follow-up Expert and the Founder of the training company, Power Up Your Follow Up. She works closely with relationship-driven network marketers who are letting potential customers and team members slip through the cracks because they don’t have a reliable follow-up system in place. She helps them create step-by-step blueprints for their business so that they can convert more prospects into clients without being salesy.
Debbie was a successful investment banker on Wall Street with twenty years’ experience as a managing director. Her organizational skills and extraordinary ability to connect with people have been instrumental to her success. Debbie has extensive experience with network marketing entrepreneurs as well as having built an international team of several thousand consultants. To date, her proven follow-up system has generated more than $25 billion in sales. She’s also a bestselling author and has a new book coming out highlighting her proven follow-up system. Welcome, Debbie. I’m excited about this.
Me too and I work with coaches and other entrepreneurs as well, not just network marketers. I want to make sure everyone knows that I love working with coaches, entrepreneurs, network marketers. I love working with anyone in the sales process.
This is super important. We’ve been having a lot of discussions lately. For those of you who don’t know a lot about a Quiz to Qualify, we’re getting people leads now. At the beginning of 2019, we had to go back and start teaching enrollment conversations because people were like, “I’m getting leads and I don’t know what to do with them.” Debbie is one of the trainers that come on our Module Six and works with them on not only a little bit on the enrollment conversations, but a lot on the follow-up. It is surprising how many people don’t have CRMs. Why are you so passionate about helping entrepreneurs with their follow-up?
Juliet, I see so many entrepreneurs out there and they’re spending all of this money on beautiful websites and putting their packages and programs together, on Facebook ads and hiring social media experts. They’re doing all this great stuff and it’s all important stuff but what’s happening is they’re not following up. All of that investment of time, money and resources are going down the drain. It breaks my heart. This happens to be my genius, my area that I do naturally. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs to share their gifts and get their message out in a huge way so they can make the impact they’re here to make.The follow-up process is the sales process. Click To Tweet
This is such a unique business. What inspired you to start this? Most people or most coaches go for the sales piece, but you did the follow-up piece.
When I say follow up, the follow-up process is the sales process. The reason I’ve used the term follow-up coach or follow-up expert is that people get it right away. When I say I’m a follow-up coach, they roll their eyes. They go, “I suck at follow-up.” I know it’s immediate like, “I get this.” If I had said I was a sales coach, they wouldn’t quite know what I did. That word sale creates this response in people all the time. I do have to make sure people know that I do teach the entire sales process, but I lead with the follow-up piece because it’s the missing link. It’s the missing piece. What inspired me to start, it’s a long story, so I’ll give the Reader’s Digest version, but it’s a great story.
I met a woman at an event where I had a booth for these wellness products that I was representing and she asked me to follow up with her, which I did for fourteen months and it’s not easy to do. Finally, she became a client and left me a message, “Debbie, you’re amazing at follow up. You need to teach me your system. I suck at this. We need to talk.” I had no idea what she was talking about. I get on the phone with her and she proceeded to share with me that nobody follows up with her as I do. She runs a speaker’s association. She’s meeting people all the time. She said no one’s following up with her. She said, “People are struggling with this. You’ve got this gift. You’ve got to do something with this.” I thought she was crazy. It’s like, “What are you talking about? I didn’t get it.” We all have that gift, that thing that we do naturally that we take for granted.
Sometimes it takes somebody outside of us to let us know. She was my angel. I’m blessed because I started this business based on her inspiration and encouragement. I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I’m amazing at follow-up. I need to teach people this.” I didn’t have a clue that I was amazing at this. I’m grateful to her because now I’ve been able to help hundreds of entrepreneurs and network marketers. It’s been a blessing to see people being able to make the difference they’re here to make in the world. That’s what it’s all about.
You can see from working with the people that were in my group. They don’t even follow-up with you.
Nobody follows up with me. Whenever I go to events, I’m the one. My friends don’t even follow-up with me. Follow up is follow up. If you’re good at it, you do it in every part of your life. My friends appreciate how much I’m in touch with them. People thank me all the time for following up with them because nobody is following up.
I’ll share a little story from when I was married. I’m such a great follow-upper, but when you’re married, it’s not called follow-up. It’s called nagging. I’m extraordinarily good at both. Let’s talk about some of those challenges that most entrepreneurs face.
I found that there are four key areas where people struggle. There are lots of things within those four key areas. The first one is that people are not prepared. A lot of people tell me they wing it when they go to a networking event or when they meet with a potential client or before they get on a phone call, they wing it. There’s no preparation in place. That’s number one. Number two is that people have these limiting beliefs, stories and fears that come up around follow up in the sales process that stopped people dead in their tracks. They take on these stories as if they’re real. These limiting beliefs, they stop them. They don’t take action because they’re afraid of being salesy, pushy or whatever comes up.
Next, people don’t have systems in place and they’re feeling disorganized. It’s not the technology, but it’s also what to do and what to say at every step of the process and how often to call and what methods of communication. They don’t have a system. People do not have a system for follow-up. The last, and this is like the killer, they’re all bad, but this one hurts me is that people are not consistently asking for referrals. They’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Those are the four key areas where I see people struggle the most.
I’m good at that nagging for referrals too. Let’s take each one of those individually. They’re not prepared. What does that look like when they’re not prepared? Let me back up a little bit with that. Not only not being prepared, but I noticed a lot of people when they go out to networking groups, they go for the sole purpose of sales and not relationships. That impacts not being prepared too.
I’m so glad you brought that up because that is part of being prepared is what’s your intention? The intention that most people have and when you go to the networking events is to get clients and to sell. That is not what I teach because when you go to a networking event to sell and get clients, people are repulsed by that. They feel your energy no matter how much you think you’re hiding it. It’s like they feel it. It’s palpable. Energy is very subtle but very powerful. Part of preparing for a networking event, for instance, is to go with the intention of building relationships, meeting people and creating connections and seeing how you can help people. That’s one part. Another part of preparation is what are you going to say when people ask what you do? They hose people down and it’s boring. I have a way to teach people how to share what they do that gets folks to lean in and want to know more.Sometimes, it takes somebody outside of us to let us know what we are capable of. Click To Tweet
An example of preparation before a meeting, let’s say someone says, “I’m interested in hearing about what you offer.” You either do a discovery session or you get together for a meeting, however, you do your business. Being prepared when concerns come up, how are you going to respond to them because our potential clients are testing us. It’s not like a conscious thing, but they want to know how committed we are to what we do, how much we believe in what we have to offer when they come up with a concern or an objection. I like the word concern. If we’re thrown off guard and we’re not feeling confident, they’re going to feel that. People get shaken and thrown off when they hear a concern because they’re not prepared. I help my clients get prepared for all of the concerns that they typically hear in their business. I called an objections library. It’s my term for having that all prepared. Those are some examples of how being prepared is so important.
I’m going to give you all an example why I hate going to networking groups, but I do it anyway. There’s a difference between building a relationship and walking away like you’ve been pitched slapped. I walked away so many times like, “That was exhausting and it hurts.”
I teach people not to be that person. My clients, I teach them to not be that person.
You notice I coined a new phrase there, so don’t steal it from me, but seriously that’s what I feel like. The limiting beliefs and fears, I would imagine that if you’re not doing it, you’re feeling it somewhere in your body. That’s like, “No, it feels icky.”
What comes up I hear over and over again about why people resist following up is because they believe when they follow up, they’re being salesy or pushy. They don’t want to follow up because they don’t want to be perceived that way. Nothing happens and they don’t follow up. All this money and potential clients are slipping through the cracks. I help my clients with reframing their mindset around this. What if there was a way to follow up with people that felt compelling and you’re building a connection with them versus say salesy and repelling? That would create a very different experience of following up, wouldn’t it? People are waiting for us to follow up with them and to show up in service to them and what they need. They need support in whatever area they’re struggling with. If you have a solution and you’re not following up, I believe you’re doing people a disservice. That’s how strongly I feel about it. It’s time to put a new story in place that when I follow up, I’m creating value for people on connecting with people. I’m showing up in service to them. When you follow up with people consistently, it shows that you’re passionate about what you do. It shows you believe in what you have to offer and people appreciate it. People thank me all the time for following up with them. That’s a big limiting belief that comes up over and over again.
They don’t have systems in place and feel disorganized. I see so many people out there without any systems in place. If you’re a business, you can’t fly by the seat of your pants if you want to maximize what you’re doing. What systems do they need to be efficient at this?
There are two parts when I hear the word system. There’s the technology which step one is having a CRM, a Customer Relationship Management system in place. It’s easy to use software. Some are very difficult, but there’s a whole range and this is where you store all of your information for your contacts. When you meet with somebody, you put in their information, store the notes and set reminders for the next step. That’s why people are telling me that people are slipping through the cracks because they don’t have the system, the technology to remind them to go to the next step. I got off the phone with somebody on a conversation about this and she doesn’t have any system. She’s got folders of people who are interested or mildly interested and nothing is happening with them because there’s no system. That’s the first part.
We have to have some technology in place. Your readers can go to PowerUpYourFollowUp.com/resources. I’ve vetted some CRMs. There’s a gazillion out there. There’s a handful there that I like and my clients have given me great feedback that they’re enjoying. That’s the first step is to get that. You need to know what to say when you call or email, how often to call, what method of communication is best, how many times do you follow up within a certain timeframe and what scripts and templates to use. All of that system is where I come in. You can have the best CRM in the world, but if you don’t know what to do with it, you’re not going to maximize the benefit of it. That’s my part in the equation is to help people with the languaging. My clients have told me what they appreciate about me the most is how I language things, making it sound very comfortable for them. They can follow up in a way that feels authentic to them, not feel salesy and pushy, but always be guiding people through the process and asking for permission.
You’re always asking me for languaging. It’s funny because we speak so differently. You’re so eloquent and I’m like, “Just get it done.” I don’t even know how you take my language and look at it. Let’s talk a little bit about those referrals because I know people feel uncomfortable about asking for referrals. I’m not shy at all about it but a lot of people don’t. Why do you think they feel funny about asking for referrals?
Whenever I speak I ask the audience to raise their hand if they’re consistently asking their clients for referrals. Normally, no hands go up. Once in a while, I’ll get one hand and I’ll ask, “Why aren’t you asking?” What I hear is they think that it’s being pushy. It’s like, “I already asked them to be a client. They’ve become a client and now, I’m asking them for a referral?” Sometimes they’ll say they feel like they’re coming across too desperate if they ask for referral. It’s a mindset shift because our clients love to give us referrals. When we’ve provided great service to them or a great product and they’ve had a great experience working with us or taking our product, it makes them feel so good when they refer someone to us that also gets that same experience and that also gets great results. It’s a win-win.Energy is very subtle but very powerful. Click To Tweet
It’s about the mindset. There’s a way to ask for referrals that works. There’s a way to ask for referrals that aren’t as effective. When I work with my clients, I teach them when to ask for the referrals, how to ask for the referrals and this is the key to give them the language of what you want them to share on your behalf. You’re spoon-feeding them exactly what you want them to say. Number one, the benefit of that is they don’t have to spend time trying to figure out what to say about you. Number two, it’s a lot more effective because you’re giving them the language. When people asked me to give them a referral, I will not do it unless I have their language. I don’t know about you, but I do not have the time to sit around and try to figure out what words to say and how to craft this email. They send me their referral language. I’d copy and paste it. I add something special about them and it’s off.
There’s a lot to learn about referrals and they’re critical because research shows that one out of twenty people will end up doing business with you on average. It varies from industry to industry, but that’s an average. But when the person comes to you from a referral, it’s one out of six. Your chances of having a person say yes that comes from a referral increases by 300%. It’s super important. People, if you’re not asking for referrals, you’re sitting on a gold mine. It’s so much easier to have referrals, to have clients come from your existing clients than to go out and try to meet new people. The process is shorter and you get better results
I’m going to give you some examples. I’m going to give you a what-not-to-do. One of my clients called me and she was upset because someone we know called her and asked for referrals and said, “I’ll wait so I can take down their name and numbers.” My client was so angry because she’s like, “I will never refer her now and how dare she put me on the spot.” She was flummoxed. That’s how you don’t do it. That is pushy, salesy and exactly what you don’t want to do. I want to share a tip. One of the things I do at the end of my program is on Module Six, I have a couple of slides where I explained to them that this is how you do the referrals because you have gone through the program. You’re the best people to explain. You’ve gotten results. I pay commission as well. I started doing that, it’s bumped our referral rate from about 50% to 90% of our business. It’s all in how you ask. I can guarantee you that woman did not get any names and phone numbers or will ever get another referral again.
She should be referred to me. She’s a perfect person for me to work with because she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. People don’t know about this stuff. It’s not her fault. She doesn’t know.
She’s been talked to several times. She’s not trained.When you follow up with people consistently, it shows that you're passionate about what you do. Click To Tweet
I don’t want to talk to her then.
Debbie, you have a short quiz where people can identify where they’re doing well with their follow-up and sales. How do we find that?
I highly recommend you all take this. It will be an enlightening experience. Go to PowerUpBizQuiz.com. In five to ten minutes, you’re going to get clear on where you’re doing well with your follow-up and you can celebrate areas where potential clients and money are slipping through the cracks. It’s going to be a real eye-opener for you to assess yourself on your follow-up and sales skills.
You’ve given us a lot to think about. I know you’ve put together a special offer for my community. It’s all around what we’ve been talking about here and going a little bit deeper. How can they find that?
If you’re looking to learn a proven system for following up and to achieve consistent results with your business, I’d like to invite your readers to a complimentary free discovery session. It’s a follow-up on your dreams discovery session because I truly believe we all have dreams in our lives and some of us have buried them, some of us have them on top of mind, but our businesses are the way that we’re going to fulfill those dreams. Go to www.TalkWithDebbie.com. During this one-on-one time together with my eyes on your business, I’m going to identify three key areas where potential clients are slipping through the cracks. If it’s a good fit, we’ll discuss next steps. If not, you’ll walk away with value of areas that you need to focus on. This is for people who are committed to taking their business to the next level and they’re looking to have someone support them and want to see if we’re a good fit.
Thank you so much for being on. This was great information.
Thank you so much for having me.
- Power Up Your Follow Up
About Debbie Hoffman
Debbie Hoffman is a follow-up expert and founder of the training company, “Power-Up! Your Follow-Up.” She works closely with relationship-driven network marketers who are letting potential customers and team members slip through the cracks because they don’t have a reliable follow-up system in place. She helps them create a step-by-step blueprint for their business so they can convert more prospects into clients without being salesy.
Debbie was a successful investment banker with 20-years experience as Managing Director for Wall Street firms. Her organizational skills (and an extraordinary ability to connect with people) have been instrumental to her success. Debbie has extensive experience as a Network Marketing entrepreneur, as well… having built an international team of several thousand consultants. To date, her proven follow-up system has generated over $25-billion in sales. She’s also a best selling author and has a new book highlighting her proven follow-up system… due out next year.