Before TouchingBase.io, I didn't have a formal system in place for nurturing my prospects over the long term. I'm a consultant going after engagements that require a larger investment on the clients' behalf, and it takes time and trust before they're comfortable enough to work with me. It becomes overwhelming to juggle all of this back-and-forth without a system in place. I used to worry about potential clients falling off my radar, always wondering "how long has it been since I followed up?" "Should I follow up now, or wait?"
I tagged my Prospects in Gmail, but I wouldn't tag them with a date for follow-up. Periodically, I would go through and look at the Prospects list and go, "I haven't talked to that guy in a month, I should probably send him something." For awhile I used Pipedrive, and it was okay, but it was yet another thing to check. Three weeks would go by, and I wouldn't have checked Pipedrive.
So when I discovered TouchingBase.io, I was excited about the possibility of trying it out and seeing if it would take away my constant worry and help me move my business forward. It turns out, it was a huge improvement in a lot of ways.
TouchingBase.io is right in my Gmail inbox
The first improvement I noticed was that TouchingBase.io is right in my Gmail inbox. It puts my prospects directly into the workflow, and requires me to make an explicit commitment to following up.
It's been incredibly helpful for the kind of "slow motion" conversations that I have when I'm exploring business possibilities with someone. The kind of long-term communication in the two week to three month range, where our relationship is still ambiguous and I'm asking myself, "Is the deal going to go forward or not?" I may have had a conversation or made some loose commitments, but I still needed to nurture the relationship and nudge things along.
She responded after the second follow-up saying she’d like to work with me over the next six months. It turned into a nice piece of business.
Here's an example. An entrepreneur in Australia contacted me for office hours. It went pretty well, and I sent her a summary of findings and a feedback form. She responded to the feedback form asking for a proposal, but she told me she'd be traveling. So, I sent her a proposal and I tagged it with TouchingBase.io for a two week follow-up. I followed up once, and I left the tag on and followed up twice. She responded after the second follow-up saying she'd like to work with me over the next six months. It turned into a nice piece of business.
Another significant benefit was that TouchingBase.io allowed me to persevere. Because the question I am often asking myself is, should I follow up or not? Am I making a fool of myself? Am I going to send this person yet another email, and they're trying to tell me to get lost or politely indicate that they're not interested?
I felt more committed to following up
An unanticipated outcome of using the system was that I felt more committed to following up. In this particular instance with the Australian entrepreneur, I said, "Well, I should follow up because two weeks ago, I said I was going to follow up. My state of information hasn't changed, and I don't know any more or less than I did two weeks ago. So why not do the thing I said I was going to do?" So I did. And it paid off.
One other feature I use regularly is the "Analyze Dashboard." It lets me see a short list of all of my reminders. It's nice to look at that full pipeline and realize, "Hey! I've been busy! I did get off my ass, and things are moving forward." I look at that a couple of times a month to see a big picture view of where things stand.
I can only control what I do
I try to remember that I can only control what I do. Whether or not my prospects respond, whether or not they get excited about what I have to offer, unfortunately, that's not up to me. The most likely outcome of any business email is silence, so I have to plan for that. And TouchingBase.io lets me plan in a way that I can follow through at the right time.
Net net, TouchingBase.io lets me focus on the things that are actually under my control:
I always try to be prepared for my next step, and this is where TouchingBase.io helps me stay diligent and self-disciplined with my follow-up by making an explicit commitment to nurturing those important relationships.
TouchingBase.io has become Mission Critical as part of my sales process
I had been waiting for a solution like this for over 10 years. I recommend it for anyone doing four- or five-figure deals, who needs to nurture warm leads over a 90-day period. In only a few months, TouchingBase.io has become Mission Critical as part of my sales process.