It is important to nurture your leads, however, "touching base" just to "check in" will do nothing but attract a negative reaction from your prospect as it reiterates that you are a typical sales person. A recent study by Convince and Convert indicated that 84% of email recipients leverage the email preview pane when reading email. Research firm, Radicati Group, states that the average business professional gets 121 emails per day. What these two statistics mean is that if you are not providing something relevant, enticing, or informative and are just "checking in" to see how things are going, your email most likely isn't getting read.
Here's the deal. We all want to to keep the sales momentum alive. The most important rule to stick by is to ensure you are providing value to the prospect in every email and call you send out. Trust me, I struggled with the whole "checking in" call back strategy for years. Unless the prospect had an urgent project that related to my solution, he or she was communicating less and less with me while I was reaching out more and more. Definitely a bad combination. It wasn't until I used these 4 approaches that I started seeing a significant increase in the communication flow with my prospects.
1. Re-emphasize your Company's Value Drivers
Your prospects will never buy anything unless it provides value to their organization. Because of this, you need to reiterate how your product or service will do this in every form of communication you put out.
Try saying something like this: "Hi Tom, When we last met, you mentioned how important it was to have a solution that is easy to setup and requires limited on-going maintenance. LinkedIn purchased our service this past fall and was able to get up and running within 2 weeks and reduced their maintenance costs by 63%. I would be happy to connect you with them so you can learn more about how they did this."
2. Share Ideas & Insights
Your prospects want to work with someone who is a trusted advisor and is constantly thinking about how they can either save money or make money. Strive to be the person who can show them how.
Try saying something like this: "Tom, I've been thinking more about how we can help you increase sales within your organization since you mentioned that was top priority right now. We recently released a feature which pin points which customers have the most likelihood to come back to visit you. Do you have time next Wednesday for me to come by and share with you how we go about doing this?"
3. Continue to Educate the Prospect
Often times your prospects might not have enough information to make any decision whether it's with your company or another (or do anything for that matter). You can stand out by providing insightful information which educates the prospect on industry trends, case studies, whitepapers, etc.
Try saying something like this: "Tom, I know it's a big decision to change from the way you are doing things now. I have attached a case study on another customer of ours that had a similar situation as you and thought you might be interested in learning how they were able to increase their sales by 28%. Please take a look and let me know what you think."
4. Create a Compelling Event
Unless there is a compelling event, customers won't buy anything. Just because you found a need that your prospect has to fulfill, a compelling event needs to happen in order for them to ultimately move forward. A good way to "spark" a compelling event is to provide incentives.
Try saying something like this: "Tom, I know you are still contemplating whether or not to make a change in the way you do your sales marketing campaigns. I wanted to let you know that right now we are offering a year end incentive of 20% savings on the package you were looking at before. Let me know if you are interested in learning more about this as it will end at the end of the month."
Don't these examples provide a better way for you to "stay in touch" with your prospects? Each one is providing some sort of value to the prospect and is not just a generic "touching base" email which will hit the trash bin or delete button on the phone messaging system. Become a trusted advisor to your customers and prospects, this will increase your close ratio and build longer lasting partnerships.