If my recent experience is any indicator, you may have a good source of prospects that you don’t realize. You have prospects who have given you a great deal of information about their buying habits. You know a lot about them. Yet, you’re not selling them now. They’re great prospects, too. Who are they?
They are the customers who bought from you in the past, but are infrequent buyers. They just don’t use your products or services on a regular basis. When you think of prospects, do you think of them? Probably not. Recently, I went through my accounts to locate the ones who I delivered presentations to over the years. I’m reconnecting with them to announce new services like Webinars and give them an update on my work. I’m also asking them about what’s happened with them in the time we lost touch. Out of one of these calls, I had a customer hire me for a new program for next year.
It’s a good idea at the end of the year to look back on your business over the years. Who bought from you a while ago and could purchase from you again? Some past customers can only buy your services infrequently. Did they forget about you in the interval? You need to contact them and reintroduce yourself.
Even better is to never lose touch with those customers and prospects who can buy from you or influence the buying decision. That means monthly or no less frequently than quarterly, you should contact each of these prospects. The challenge is how.
Here are some ideas. Certainly you know the interests of the people who you are contacting. You need a database to manage all your contacts. Enter the interests so that they are searchable in your database. That way, you can easily retrieve the names and send them the information you have. For example, you might read an article on antique cars. You can quickly search your database and know who is interested in antique cars.
Another reason to contact is to send a note with a recommendation of a great book you just read. You can even make a personal connection. I know of one business professional who buys postcards when he vacations. He sends the cards to his list of people so he can stay in touch
He takes a preprinted list of names and puts them on the cards. He writes a handwritten note letting his prospects know that he’s thinking of them. His prospects are touched. Imagine that, people today value that you’re just thinking of them. Sometimes selling is not as complicated as some people want to make it.
I want you to think about contacting prospects without being overtly self serving. I’ve seen some salespeople send broadcasts announcing their new deals. I think that’s seen as bragging. If you won the Nobel Peace Prize, it’s acceptable to send an announcement. Then thank your prospects for contributing to your success. But, to announce a recent sale to this list of prospects would be inappropriate.