Although prospects can go dark at any time, the end of the year often proves to be especially challenging for salespeople. The reasons can differ: they’re trying not to lose their focus in the busy season, scrambling to complete the remaining sales, or their clients have already packed their bags and gone on vacation. Moreover, transactions that have been nearing completion don’t have to be lost and even if the deadline has already passed. Sometimes even a simple follow-up can reignite the conversation and help you pick it up right where it came to the sudden stop. However, the rate of your success in this situation will depend on the way you approach it.
Finding the right balance and the best way to reconnect with your potential clients after the holiday break is key, but it also can seem overwhelming, especially if you’ve already got a lot on your plate. To learn how to master this challenge, read the article below and six strategies for re-engaging prospects.
If your emails and phone calls are all being left unanswered and the holiday season has already passed, it might be time to try something else. Your prospects are likely buried under the messages flooding their inboxes, and their voicemails stay full. Whether they lack time to go through all the emails, or they haven’t gotten around to using call routing, you can try to solve this issue by taking advantage of other communication channels.
For instance, Linkedin is an excellent way to get your prospect’s attention. With an email address or a telephone number in hand, fewer people are going to think about contacting the prospect through social sites. Therefore, there’s a higher probability that the message you send will grab your prospect’s attention - in fact, sales representatives who use this method are 80% more likely to reach their quota. However, you need to keep in mind that your goal is to re-establish contact in a non-invasive way - make sure to be cautious about the number of messages you send, as well as their frequency.
Another method is to personalize your approach and learn more about your prospect and their company. You can go through press releases, public filings (e.g., 10Ks), and their social media accounts, and send them a relevant blog post that’s connected to what they’ve been posting about, for instance, on Linkedin. This can help let them know how invested you’re in re-engaging in the conversation and how you care about their company. For example, if they’ve been posting about BCMS SaaS, you can look for other posts that include reviews or discuss this particular subject in depth. If you think that there’s a chance that your prospect could have gone dark because they were busy, then sending them specific content can be very helpful.
It’s essential that you ask your clients how they perceive your relationship over the past year. This will not only let you learn about their opinions and show that it’s something you care about, but it will also encourage them to express whether there’s anything they would like to change in the coming year, so your partnership can continue successfully.
Once you establish contact again by, for example, getting your client on the phone, remember to be patient and let your prospect express their feelings and wishes first. Use this opportunity to learn what they liked about your company in the previous year and inquire about the areas that, in their opinion, could be improved.
Then you can respond to their feedback by sharing how your company’s next steps are going to address their concerns. This way, you’re not only showing that you’re a good listener and a patient representative of your company’s interests, but you’re also interested in helping your clients grow and gain more from the partnership.
When trying to re-engage with your prospects after a longer break, asking them about their goals for the next year might be an excellent way to reignite a passionate and substantive conversation. This way, you will also get a sense of your client’s marketing cadence, trade show schedules, and general plans for the future. When you get a sense of their priorities, you can base your outreach strategy on what they need before they even think about it themselves.
Thanks to this exchange, if the client is going to schedule a series of marketing events on the West Coast, you’ll now be able to call them earlier and say that you know how important it is to them to expand in this particular part of the country. Then, you can offer to talk to them through services that could help them reach this goal, expand, and grow. Planning your sales around the client’s calendar will allow you to increase the likelihood of success and give you the opportunity to become an integral part of their priorities for the future.
Companies tend to hire the most people in January and February. It’s the time when new hiring budgets go into effect. Additionally, it’s also when work slows down for the winter, creating more space for projects that often prove to be quite time-consuming, such as writing and posting job openings. If your deal stalled in Q4, you can try to use the very beginning of the new year to breathe some new life into it. Consider scheduling meetings with the new hires, who are usually eager to prove that they’re valuable to their company.
Start by asking your prospect who they’ve recently hired and focus on departments where your deal got stuck. When trying to reestablish the contact, you don’t want to work around your initial prospect - let them know that you’re trying to engage with the new hires, and if they aren’t willing to let you know who you can contact, you should probably move on. If they provide you with the contact information, it’s a sign that you can try to bring the deal back to life.
While following up quickly after the holiday season can help you reconnect with your potential clients sooner than you would otherwise, don’t expect instant results. It takes time for people to return from vacation and get back into their normal routines. Therefore, while it’s great if they call or reply right away (or at least within a few days), don’t panic if it takes them longer than that – they will contact you eventually if they are interested in working with you.
Trying to hurry things along is one of the worst things you can do, and if you push too hard, you can come off as an impatient person who’s not willing to wait and only cares about what there’s to gain, instead of showing an interest in the prospect’s goals, wishes, and plans. Give your contacts at least 1-3 days to answer your emails and other messages. If you follow up too soon, it could make you look pushy or even intrusive.
The article above lists some of the most effective ways to re-engage with your previous prospects after the vacations are over and help you bring those sales back on track. While it’s never a good idea to be overly aggressive with the methods you choose, you’ll still need some persistence, as well as patience and willingness to put time and effort into pursuing your ideas.
Don’t be afraid to mix up your tactics and platforms of communication that you use, stay patient, ask questions and listen. By following these strategies, you’ll be able to re-engage with your previous prospects after the holidays are over and turn those cold prospects into warm leads once again.
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