Salespeople are different. Classic depictions of salespeople include the used car salesman or the fast talker trying to convince their mark to buy something they don’t want or need. Salespeople know that most people avoid making eye contact so they won’t have to engage with them. Salespeople know that many people prefer going to the dentist over talking with them. Salespeople know that it can be challenging to get leads to speak with them. Even with all the challenges in perception, they are a necessity for every company.
And so most salespeople, as they work to grow their pipeline, find many uncontacted opportunities and discard them. They want to work on the fresher, shinier leads rather than the old and stale ones. But these “old” leads are still people that may be interested in their products or services. These are people that may not have been ready at the time of initial contact and were discarded after one or two attempts to make a positive connection.
Think about a real estate agent who reaches out to a young couple a couple of times, but the couple is happy going out and traveling (non-Covid times!) and while interested to move into a home, it is still not a priority. But when one of them gets a promotion or they decide to have kids, there is an immediate urgency to move into a more family-friendly house. That real estate agent stopped trying to contact them and assumed they would never be ready to buy. A missed opportunity.
Engaging old leads isn’t complicated and actually can be easier and more rewarding if approached correctly. There are tools that are readily available and some, like Botsplash, can make a re-engagement program a regular part of a sales communication strategy.
Before jumping in, I wanted to share an important note: Before getting too carried away with “aged lead outreach” campaigns, it is important to ensure TCPA and consent rules are followed. Feel free to connect with our team to learn more!
Conversation = Conversion
The purpose of an engagement is to have a conversation. Very rarely is a sale made on an initial call or email. People don’t like to be pressured, especially when they are in the information gathering stage way before they are ready to close a deal. They want to get to know the people they’re going to be doing business with. So before sending that email with the subject line “Are you ready to buy now?”, take a step back and think about why engagement with this person was a possibility to begin with.
1. Do your research.
Do the research and go back to your past efforts. Look through old texts and emails. If using a platform like Botsplash, you may be able to look at chats and digital conversations that are logged in your CRM.
2. Find the conversation starter.
Find out if anything has changed with your lead. This might be the best entry point to correctly position a new conversation. There might have been something in one of your last conversations that could provide a clue to a possible change in your lead’s status.
Updates, both personal and professional, can also be a starting point for re-engagement. Perhaps your company has a new product or service or a seasonal promotion that your lead prospect would be interested in learning more about. Or perhaps the salesperson’s own situation has changed and they’d like to share their own job promotion or a recent move. Sharing contextual content is a great way to re-engage, but remember - keep it concise. An infographic is more likely to be seen and read than a multi-page case study. Choose to use the right digital format to share your story and message.
3. Pick the right channel.
Make sure when you reach out, you do so with their preferences and situation in mind. Many studies show texting has become the preferred method of communication for many people. Texts are opened and read at far higher rates than email and phone calls so an initial text may be a great icebreaker. Using Botsplash, you can set-up outbound text campaigns that are monitored to ensure delivery rates remain high and spam rejections remain low.
Consider engaging them through social media, like Facebook. Did they like your page? Did they write a comment? Driving prospects towards a landing page is phasing out. Now, it is all about instant messaging. Encourage them to use Facebook Messenger as a way to learn more about your company through an automated knowledge base or conversation with an agent. Botsplash can help create an automated conversation flow for companies that look to use Facebook to communicate with their prospects and customers.
4. Provide relevant content.
If these efforts don’t create that re-engagement conversation, consider creating a monthly newsletter with information your prospects may find interesting. They can be something specific to your industry, news you comment and react to, stories about clients (like your prospects) who are successful with your product or service. Anything that is relevant to them and helps you stay in touch, even if you’ve not had that re-engagement conversation just yet.
5. Continue regular contact.
No one likes feeling used, so make sure you keep up with your leads. Your genuine interest in their lives and wellbeing will make them feel more comfortable buying from you (remember, conversation = conversion). The worst you can do is drop someone for a year, then follow up with a sales pitch. Contact once a quarter will ensure that you stay top of mind, without bothering them or pressuring them into purchasing.
For salespeople to succeed, they need to remember behind every lead is a real person who may have need for their product or service. Communication has changed and there are many ways to reconnect and turn leads into clients. Remember, to have a conversation, you need to:
- Do your research.
- Find the conversation starter.
- Pick the right channel.
- Provide relevant content.
- Continue regular contact.
An old lead is not a dead lead - don’t throw them out. Use the tools you have available, like an omnichannel communication platform like Botsplash, to re-engage on your leads’ terms and you just might find a rewarding new relationship. You have to converse to convert!