> Visibility and accessibility are key if you want to turn your prospects into customers. You have to be top of mind, when your prospect is ready to buy. In today’s economic environment, the experts say it can take as many as sixteen contacts or touches to move a prospect to a customer. A number like that a couple of years ago read more like seven or eight.
It is not the number that matters. It is the consistent approach you develop and practice to be visible. When I discuss this need for a consistent method with my sales clients, I get one of two reactions, either they want to be more aggressive and “help” their prospect make the decision a little faster, or they fear any consistent approach will make them annoying or a bother to the prospect.
If you want to force – oh I mean “help” your prospect to make the decision you stand a good chance of losing the sale. If you do land the sale, you’ve weakened your chances of future sales. Prospects need to enjoy the sales experience, and forcing them to make a decision just does not feel good. On the other hand, not to stay in touch consistently pretty much ensures you just gave a sale to your competitor. You just simply set up the play, and gave your competitor the glory of the slam dunk. Yet, fear of being a bother or annoying to a prospect is completely understandable. That is exactly why you need a well thought out plan!
How to Stay in Touch without Being Annoying
While your strategy needs to be your own, let’s discuss how to get started on generating ideas on how to stay in front of your prospects without being annoying.
- Start with a brain dump! Get one or two friends and just sit down and brainstorm ways you could keep yourself visible with clients.
- Review the list and check off the ideas that add value or benefit for the prospect
- Ask one or two of your really good customers what things you do (outside of providing your product or service) that add value. Add those to your list
- Review the list, choose the fifteen or twenty ideas that you feel most comfortable with and create your “high visibility/high touch” strategy
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Attend a networking event where you know they will be, say hello and talk, but do not discuss business
- Introduce them to another business person that would be a good connection for them
Invite them to an event your company is hosting
- Comment on their status via LinkedIn or Facebook, or retweet them on Twitter
- Send an article or book (high quality used books under $10 on Amazon) regarding a particular business challenge they are having
- Refer business to them – then call them and let them know
- Invite them to a networking event they may not know about or have attended
- When the time is right, set up another sales call
You got the idea. These are casual ways to add value, stay visible and easy to do business with. For prospects that take longer to close, finding that right balance of the visibility, high touch and actually asking for business is key. It is different for everyone and different with every prospect. Work on developing your own strategy and listen to gut! Trust yourself. You will know when to tread slowly and when to turn up the heat. The key to turn your prospects into customers is to have a strategy for both and to balance the two!