6 ways to stay in front of prospects
6 ways to stay in front of prospects
Not all prospects are ready to buy from you. Knowing how to keep in touch with them is critical to maintaining your pipeline of prospects and building the long-term value of your company. It’s important to find ways to keep in touch and occupy their headspace. But not in a weird way.
Whatever you do, don’t call or email every month, asking if they’re ready to consider your services or talk about your new product. This strategy is focussed entirely on you and more often than not, it will leave a negative impression on your prospects. Think about the number of emails you get because of that one time you inquired about a service. It’s annoying, something to be avoided or worse, discarded. Your objective should be to build a relationship, build trust and give value. Below are six ways to help you achieve this.
List the top twenty prospects you’d like to keep in touch with and make sure you have a specific contact within the organisation. You need to have them in the front of your mind so you can think of ways to add genuine value to their lives.
1. Get social
Follow the individual and their organisation on Twitter, Instagram or any other platform they use. Engage with them in a meaningful and genuine way. This doesn’t mean liking every single Facebook post or RT’ing every tweet as this comes across as disingenuous. You wouldn’t like or RT every single one of your friend’s posts so why do that with someone you’re getting to know?
2. Share insight
Keep an eye out for articles your prospect might find interesting or useful. Share it with them, explaining why it might be of interest. Be sparing with this tip; if you send too much, they’ll start ignoring your emails. As a benefit, this practise forces you to pick the most salient topics.
3. Give ideas
Building on the last tip, you could sift through articles and think of ideas that might help your prospects. They’ll be pleased you’re trying to help them. Try not to become attached to the idea, i.e. insisting on taking credit. Remember, it’s all about them, not you.
4. Share connections
Is there anyone in your network that might be a useful contact for your prospect? When you keep your top twenty prospects at the forefront of your mind, you will find yourself meeting people that may be useful connections. Ask yourself why the connection is useful to both parties. If it’s not, then don’t do it. Explain to both parties why you think an introduction might bring value to them and whether they’re interested in an introduction. When they’re interested, make the introduction.
5. Celebrate their success
One prospect of mine had a daughter who was revising for her high school graduation exams. During our first meeting, she spoke of how nervous she was for her daughter. The day before the national exam results were announced — it was all over my Facebook feed and the national news, I couldn’t miss it — I sent her a note wishing her daughter well. I treated her like a friend, knowing she must be stressed. She was touched by the gesture and proudly shared the results with me the following day. Her organisation become my first customer.
6. Solve peripheral problems
Think back on the conversations you’ve had with your prospects. Do you remember any problems they were having (beyond the one your product or service solves) that you might be able to assist them with? A hiring or supplier problem? Perhaps something more personal? Sales is not just about solving the problems your product addresses, but also exploring ways to make people’s lives easier.
The primary objective of a keep-in-touch strategy should be to add value to the lives of your prospects, the value they need, not what you think they need. You can do this by simply asking, “what is your challenge?” at your first meeting. Be mindful of their answer and seek ways to help by sharing insight, making introductions or solving peripheral problems.
Anis Qizilbash is founder of Mindful Sales Training and author of Grow Your Sales, Do What You Love: Mindful Selling for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers. Sign-up here to receive her free 10-day mindful selling email course.