"I don't want to call her back."
"Because I just emailed her a week ago and I haven't heard back yet. I don't want to be annoying…"
We understand. You and I have been on the wrong end of one too many eager salesperson's relentlessness. To them, "No" is merely the first two letters of "Now I'll buy it!" How then, to be professional, yet personable? Persistent, yet polite?
More Leads Savannah: How to Defrost the Old and Cold
Every business needs more leads. Whether its through word of mouth, walk ins, mass market advertising or SEO-ing your website, every business developer thinks about more leads all the time. Nothing wrong with that, except for small-to medium-sized businesses. The person responsible to conjure leads is also the filing clerk, HR manager and accountant.
So you toil away, caught between the need for leads and the push for payroll. The last thing you want to is annoy and alienate an old-but-still-possible lead. Buuut, Since you are low on time and sources, back you go to the old address book.
Some of these names could be frozen like a woolly mammoth in Siberian permafrost. No life at all. Or, they could be full of potential, like this frog.
How to thaw them out and convert to a sale?
1) Use your Best Kindergarten Behavior
Be respectful, use your best manners, and show that you care about the other person. Remember, this is about business more than it is about what people think about you. Sometimes it's difficult to find that fine line, because ultimately good relationships equal good business, and it's our ability to work together that makes everything flow. But don't obsess about offending a cold lead or looking like you're desperate. You're just doing your job! And you're doing it with basic human decency.
"I ran across your name today and decided to reach out. It's been a busy quarter for us as I'm sure it has been for you! I'm available for a quick contact to pick up where we left off back in June if you're still interested."
"Since you haven't responded to my last couple of emails, I'm planning to call you this week. Get back to me ASAP if you're interested in talking."
2) Persistence Does Not Mean Pushy
Hitting send on a follow up email to that stubborn cold lead every morning is pushy, no matter how nice or helpful you're trying to be. It's just too much. Persistence takes planning with your lead in mind… when are they most likely to read your email? How busy are they? What subject line will capture their interest? And of course that big question:
How often should you send follow up emails?
You'll hear everything from once an hour to once a week. The real answer is that only you can decide, because every lead is different. Persistence with patience is a great combination. Go ahead and experiment. Ask some current good clients what's pushy. Ask your contacts' admins what they think. Honestly, some people need a daily email for a month to convert. Some don't.
3) Give Them an Opportunity to Tap Out
You've followed up a few times, invited them to make contact, even tried sweetening the deal… and…
It might be time to move on. Time to ask if you are just wasting each other's time. Don'temail this one, make a call directly to your contact. Here's an idea of what to say:
"I know you're busy- I've seen your ads / visited your website / read your newsletter. I'm glad you're doing well! As much as I'd love to contact you about our product / service, I don’t want to keep sending you emails if you're no longer interested, so please let me know if that's the case."
If nothing else, they'll appreciate your initiative and honesty.
4) Be an Aunt Elizabeth
There's that one family member who ALWAYS manages to come up with the perfect birthday or Christmas gift. Be like her. What do you know about your cold lead? If there's anything extra you can add to personalize your email, by all means add it! You'll stand out from 99% of all the other emails they slog through every day. For example, if you know they have kids, share a "by the way" like a great kid-friendly restaurant, or playground, or movie they should see. A brief bit of brainstorming or research could result in the just-right extra-special sauce your follow up email needs.
If a connection is not happening, try adjusting the mode by which your message gets through. Instead of a regular email, try using InMail from linked in, or a Skype message, or direct message through Facebook. Or you might simply change the time or day your follow ups are sent.
If the thought of contacting old, cold leads makes you feel like you did when you skipped your last high school reunion, get over it! We've heard those reunions are actually a good way to re-connect in a positive way. That's what we've heard, anyway. Check out more on the secret art of follow up emails
So take some time and think through a strategy for approaching some long lost contacts. And may your timing and tone be perfect!
Just don't be annoying!
Want more leads Savannah? Atlanta? Jacksonville? We can get 'em for you. We are United WebWorks, a full-service internet marketing service for clients from here in the Southeast to New York and LA. We'd love to hear from you! Find out about us: More Leads Savannah GA