One of the most frequent requests I get from clients goes something like this: “I have a prospect who seemed impressed and ready to move, but now he’s gone silent. How can I get him to agree to a follow-up meeting?”
What do you do? First, here’s what you don’t do:
- Send a follow-up email. The most common and most damaging error is dashing off a message that says, “I’m just following up to see if you’re still interested in working with us.” It reeks of desperation and does nothing to move the needle.
- Tell him or her how interested you are. Adding a line about how interested you continue to be in talking with a prospect isn’t going to win you any points either. You need to turn the tables.
So, do this instead:
- Work your network. Dig into your contacts list or Linkedin and see what personal connections you share with the prospect. Sometimes a simple nudge by a mutual acquaintance does the trick.
- Provide fresh information. Ask yourself what is happening right now that makes the timing of the follow-up meeting essential. Are you trying to help the prospect ward off competitors or get him or her ready for their peak business season?
- Stay in touch. Actively seek reasons to reach out. For instance, you may read an interesting article that reminds you of the prospect or you hear an industry announcement that relates to both of you. Pass it on.
- Give them a reason to be interested. Even if a prospect has previously expressed interest, you’ve got to reengage him or her. For instance you could say, “I was on your website this morning and I have an idea about how to boost your click-through rates.” Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about the would-be client.
- Ask! Be direct. Clearly state that you want to meet briefly to discuss their questions and concerns. Even if he or she declines, at least you know where you stand . . . for now.
Before you act …
Text messaging is fast becoming the preferred means of communicating. But you’ve got to set that precedent with a prospect early on. During your initial interaction, ask for a cell phone number, and then send a text right away to say you’ve added him or her as a contact and are excited to continue conversations. You’ll know immediately by the reply you do or don’t get whether or not texting is the best way to keep the lines of communication open. Just be sure to follow normal business etiquette: spell out words, use full (albeit short) sentences and only hit send during business hours.
For access to more than 20 done-for-you email scripts, including messages for stalled prospects, cold leads, customer complaints and more, head over to www.smartmailforsales.com.
If you enjoyed this edition of Spill the Truth, comment below. I’d love to know what other prospect dilemmas I can help you with.