We all lose enthusiasm when it comes to cold prospects, whether you received a less than warm reception, they dropped off in communication or you simply were not as rigorous as you should be when it came to following up on the lead, a cold prospect is not necessarily a dead one.
We are here to help you navigate the difference between the prospects that show promise and those that are simply a drain on your time. We also want to help you refine your follow up process so you can effectively and efficiently manage your leads, cold or otherwise.
Every Interaction Is An Opportunity
What does this mean as not every interaction will end in a sale? Opportunities do not necessarily translate to dollars and cents, instead, they give you a chance to refine your process. Even a hard no can lead to a discussion about your sales technique, product or that particular business’s current situation and why your product/service is not right right now.
Taking negative interactions and translating them into strong relationships is a hard-won skill and is only achieved by coming up against rejection. If you view even the hard no as a learning opportunity, it makes them much easier to swallow.
Not Right Now Is Not A No
Every business is at a different stage, and understanding when a particular client is ready for your product or service is key to knowing if they need to be followed up in one month or next year. Just because you caught a client too early, does not mean you should rest on your laurels and wait for them to contact you when they are ready, as we all know, business memories can be short.
Instead, capture them in your mailing list and offer them helpful resources or updates so you remain fresh in the lead’s mind. Then, when they are ready to come on board, you already have a good relationship to build on.
The Fine Line Between Pestering and Persistence
You want clients to feel valued but not pressured which can be a difficult path to tread. The best way to address this is through approach; if every interaction is a sales pitch, the cumulative effect can be overwhelming. If you vary your communication, alerting the prospect to new technology on the market, or to something that could affect them in their niche and intersperse this with the occasional sales pitch, it can feel less abrupt.
Choosing your platform to interact on is also key, while newsletters are effective, they are also quite formal. Choosing to reach out on social media is a great way to keep people aware without getting your communications ditched straight into the junk pile.
Don’t Keep Throwing Time Away
Just because you have spent some serious hours invested in a lead, doesn’t mean it will come up as a success. Obviously, if the lead was prequalified or your initial interaction was promising, then follow it up. However, recognising when you are pursuing a hopeless lead is just as valuable as you can redirect your time into a lead that will convert. So how do you recognise them? Constant polite brush offs are just that, brush offs! Sometimes you have to take the hint and resign yourself to closing that lead.
You can usually gauge a prospect better over the phone than email as the tone is very telling. Taking the time to call can save you hanging for an extra month’s worth of emails. The last is the relevancy of the lead, we all get to the point when a lead is not a perfect fit, but it is good enough. If they are less than responsive and not quite right for your product or service, let them go.
Your Follow-Up Process
Keeping on top of the myriad of leads to follow-up on can be overwhelming so getting a process can help cut down the time you spend chasing and the number that get missed. So where do you start? Firstly decide on how often you want to follow up, what you want to follow up with and how you will reach them. That might mean 3 days after the initial interaction, you send them a gentle reminder email with more info, 8 days after the interaction you give them an industry update, and 14 days after the initial interaction you call them. If this is what you decide on, then ue platforms to set reminders, send pre-written emails and inform you it is time to call your contact.