Who hasn’t heard the following expressions to describe sales: contact sport, a numbers game, and dialing for dollars. I’m sure you all have. Surely the sales professional is a lot more than these things. But let’s face it – if we wait for the business to come to us, we can go out of business while we wait.
Salespeople usually try to find a good reason to follow up with a prospect or customer, such as a new special promotion, an answer to a question, an important expiration date, etc. These reasons provide justification, or even motivation, for contacting someone. And because they are understandable, the prospect or customer is often more responsive to approaches for this reason. Plus, sometimes the right simple touch can strengthen your business relationship and reinforce loyalty.
One thing salespeople and marketers need to do is find and leverage more good reasons to reach out. This should be easy … there’s no shortage if we just think about it. Here’s a list of ideas which you can put to use:
– Elapsed days since a purchase or the last interaction
– Anniversary date of new customer relationship
– Invitation to a special event, conference call, etc.
– New product or feature announcement
– Special promotion or price change
– Awards or other special accomplishments
– Staff changes, moves, name changes
Some of the suggestions on this list you can apply with very little planning & preparation, while others require more work. The common factor is the need to be proactive – to identify a tactic and take the necessary steps to put it into practice. This is one area where marketing & sales can, and should, work together as a team very effectively!
Your CRM software can be a useful tool. With features such as scheduling, queries, triggers, and automated processes, your software can provide you reminders, lists, and/or even automatically handle the fulfillment. For example, on the anniversary date of a “customer start date” my system automatically queues a very short & sweet email to each customer from me. It’s written in a very personal tone. And it produces fantastic results!
Nobody should be sitting around waiting for the phone to ring! There are too many good reasons to pick up the phone or to start an email to find more business. Instead of making excuses for why you don’t have business, start finding reasons to touch base with your prospects & customers!