You call on a potential prospect but they are not ready to buy now. You recognize this is not a stall, but a legitimate reason that they can’t buy now. It could be they have a contract that needs to expire, etc.
The question is how do I keep them engaged between now and the time they are ready to buy?
I had a coaching client who asked me this question. She was having difficulty seeing how to keep a potential prospect engaged for the next 12 months until their current contract expired.
Here are a couple of approaches you can implement in your sales strategy to keep your prospects engaged.
To keep a prospect engaged you have to understand the key things that are important to them. This doesn’t have to be something related to your product or service (in fact it works much better if it isn’t), but something that is important to their company, market, or business.
When you know what’s important to your prospect, you can send them information that you feel they may find valuable about that topic. This could be an article from a trade publication, newspaper, etc.
How you send this information is very important. You want to cut out the article and attach a personal note.
Something to the effect of “You mentioned about this topic being important to you. I came across this article and I thought you might find it interesting and useful.”
Send in a hand written envelope addressed to your prospect personally.
This aids in getting the letter past the gate keeper because it appears to be personal mail.
You don’t want to add anything that would be self serving such as “I’m looking forward to doing business with you.” or anything like that. Make this correspondence solely about them.
Now, in a week or so you can call and ask did they receive it. Your initial conversation is about the information your sent. Then you can then turn this conversation into something about the future possibilities of working together.
Here is what you have created in this sequence. First, you have demonstrated you have the best interest of your prospect in mind. When your prospect believes you are going to do what is best for them it increases your creditability.
Secondly, you have differentiated yourself from your competition. Let’s face it, very few people take time to consider what is important to someone else and then take action on it. Mostly, people only do what will benefit them. Here you have demonstrated you want to do what is best for them.
This is highlighted even more because the information you send is totally unrelated to your product or service.
Another technique you can use is inviting. There may be a program or event that is dealing with the subject your prospect is interested in. Invite your prospect to the event.
This is a powerful demonstration of you thinking of your prospect.
Whether or not your prospect attends the event or not doesn’t matter. The impact you make is in the inviting. When you invite someone to something the underlying message is: “you think enough of me to invite me to this event.”
Of course if they attend it is really great situation because you get some “face” time with your prospect.
Try these two techniques and you will keep your prospects engaged.