Keeping sales prospects engaged is not easy. Cold calling is increasingly inefficient and ineffective. It can take as many as 18 calls to get a potential buyer on the phone.
When you’ve got a low touch contact list, or clients you don’t see very often, keeping them engaged requires a different approach. Your aim should be to stay front-of-mind, to maintain or increase market share and wallet share.
In a low-growth economy, it is crucial for business development teams to find ways to keep buyers and prospects engaged. Here is how you do that, without trying to get them on the phone every five minutes.
Start with your goal
Look at how many prospects or accounts you need to meet in 4 to 6 weeks. How many meetings - either virtual or face-to-face have you already booked in? How many more do you need to fill your diary?
Let’s say you are 15 meetings/calls or demos short four weeks from now. You’ve maybe got 40 prospects/accounts in the pipeline. Not all of them are going to meet you in four weeks, but enough should say yes to fill your calendar with viable, qualified sales leads.
The question is: How to keep your pipeline engaged?
Take the low-touch approach.
High-touch is when you are trying to engage them directly. Picking up the phone, or trying to engage them using Live Chat or instant demo tools if they happen to visit the website. They might be visiting, or they might have a free moment, but that doesn’t always mean they’re ready to talk. Of course, if the opportunity arises, jump on a live demo. Talk to them and move a potential sale forward.
But when that isn’t possible, try and put yourself the mind of your customers (and potential clients). Ask yourself: “What can I send/share with them of interest, that will help them?”
Aim to be helpful. To solve a problem, or make an introduction, or support them with a challenge you know they’re having. You could share an article or eBook, either one your company has published or something you’ve spotted in a sector-specific media outlet or blog. Relevant and timely introductions are always useful. Maybe you heard something about funding, or a new government support initiative that could help them.
Failing that, share something funny (of course, know your audience first).
This approach doesn’t always have to be via email. If you have a good relationship with a client or sales prospect (ask them first), text is another way to keep them engaged without being too pushy.
Sharing content on social media - LinkedIn in particular - and maybe tagging them or using hashtags they are probably following is another low-touch way of keeping them engaged in the right way. Now, when you are arranging to meet them, your name and company are already on their mind. It isn’t a cold or unexpected call or email: it should be something they want to do because you’ve taken the time to be helpful and established some baseline of relevance with what they are currently working on.