Jump-starting those inactive leads.
"Thanks for calling to confirm - but I'm afraid
I'm going to have to cancel our meeting for next week. We've decided
to put a hold on all our spending in this area for now. We'll be
re-evaluating in a couple of months. Keep in touch, okay?"
It's part of the sales landscape - a law as dependable as gravity.
No matter how effective, persuasive, or experienced a given
salesperson is, some percentage of that person's promising leads
will turn into "opportunities." These are static contacts
that aren't moving through the sales process and can't be counted on
to provide income - at least for the time being.
The question really isn't whether contacts will fall into the
"opportunity" category, but what steps to take when they
do. How do you reignite interest and generate activity within your
list of "cold" prospects? Canadian sales representative
Gino Sette came up with an interesting strategy.
Gino decided to write a letter to every prospect who had decided not
to buy from him over a given period. Basically, the letter said
this: "It was a pleasure meeting with you awhile back to talk
about what your company was doing. Even though we were unable to
move forward at that time, I'm still thinking about you."
Gino then invited each "cold" contact to sit in at one of
his company's upcoming events. "This will give you an
opportunity to evaluate, first-hand, the applicability of what we do
to your business environment," he wrote. "Attached is a
list of all upcoming training where my clients have approved outside
observers. I've also included a brief description of each of the
According to Gino, he got calls from prospects who were very
interested in observing specific programs, even though they had
initially declined his firm's training. Gino decided to write to
each member of his active client base and extend the same
invitation. The letter begins as follows: "First of all, let me
thank you for allowing us to work with you and XYZ Company. We are
very excited to have you as part of our client list, as you are a
significant player. It is for this reason that I would like to
extend the following invitation to you…"
As his flurry of return calls proved, Gino's innovative letter
technique is an effective way to win back (or solidify) your
position on the to-do lists of your customers and inactive leads.
His idea can be adapted to training programs, open houses, media
events, and any number of other occasions.
Erin Flynn is a freelance