Following-up with a prospect who said, “call me in six months” and now hearing him say “too bad you didn’t call me a month ago” can be pretty devastating.
Unfortunately, it happens all too often. It boils down to this: Failure to stay in touch is basically a case of “Out of Sight - Out of Mind”.
So What Happened?
When you made that initial call 6 months ago, your prospect cordially listened to your 20 to 30-second introduction. He sounded very nice and probably said something like “thanks for the call, sounds interesting”, BUT…
I’m already using a couple of suppliers on a regular basis, I’m very satisfied with their work, and we are just finishing some projects now”, so ‘Why don’t you call back in 6 months.’ And as the efficient sales rep you are, you make a note in your calendar to reconnect.
Then when you do, he says: ‘Too bad you didn’t call me a month ago, I was looking for a new supplier.’ (Ouch, right through the heart!)
After you’re done kicking yourself, you probably thought: Why didn’t I find a way to stay in touch with him? I knew he was a good prospect, and my products and services are a perfect fit for his company.
What’s One to Do?
Or NOT DO. Don’t wait six months to get back in touch. You should have kept in touch during the first five months after your initial conversation so you might have been in contention.
In the future, when faced with this situation, ‘call back in 2, 3, 6 months’, during this time, find ways to create value with your outreach efforts so you don’t sound like every other sales rep who sends emails or leaves phone messages such as: ‘Just checking in’ or ‘Just wanted to touch base’. They mean absolutely nothing.
Okay, how do I become a Value Creator?
And how do you create value for someone when you don’t know them, and how do you ultimately become a valuable resource?
The opposite of Out-of-Sight, Out-of-Mind is, The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil.
Start by sharing:
1. Relevant industry news
2. Resending a blog post or a good article - but don’t overdo it
3. A case study or success story of a current client
4. An Invite to an event or a seminar
5. A link to a White Paper or a study your company wrote
6. A cute cartoon poking fun at the industry
This is the type of content that will help you make a connection with your ideal prospects and get noticed.
I’d love to hear how these tactics are working for you.