In the first part of our ‘Sales Process’ blog series, we discussed the initial phase of qualifying your leads. Once you have established the leads that warrant connecting with, you can start to prepare for initial contact. At this stage it is vital to carry out some preparation before delving straight in with a cold call. Statistics show that only around 2% of all cold calls result in an appointment; such a low success rate is not a particularly effective use of your time. Accordingly, the solution to avoiding an unsuccessful cold call is to employ a selection of tactics to warm up your lead prior to contact.
Warming up a lead
The first step should be to engage with your lead on social media, as it is the perfect vehicle for initiating conversations. Follow your lead, share their content and start interacting with them. Social media normalises cold contact and it is a lot harder to publicly ignore someone; take advantage of this! However, do not be overly pedantic and ensure that you are offering them genuine value.
> Sharing their content will increase exposure for their brand and show you are interested. They will appreciate the mention and are more likely to give you their attention when you eventually make contact.
> Share content with them to demonstrate a sound knowledge of their business needs and goals. For example, if you are a marketing company looking to procure a law firm, you may share a blog post with the marketing management along these lines: ‘Have you read our blog post on the three most profitable marketing tools for a law firm?’.
> Digitally demonstrate value but not in a way that is condescending. Do your research so that when you share content with them, it can be on the strong assumption that it will be useful to them.
> Discover snippets of information from their own social feeds, such as blogs they have shared or events they have expressed interest in. You can then leverage these touch points when you make contact, both on social media and on the call.
Carefully consider the channel you use to get in touch, as the various social media platforms offer different functions and experiences. For example, a law firm may not engage with Facebook and Twitter but are more likely to be active on LinkedIn.
Utilise Multiple Channels
> Connect with your lead on multiple channels to maximise impact. Even if you are only making subtle interactions across the various platforms, basic psychology would suggest you are less likely to ignore someone if you have heard from them via multiple mediums.
> Give them a fair chance to interact with you before moving onto the next medium; do not bombard them on all channels straight away. Be aware that there is a fine line between providing genuine value and becoming an annoyance.
> Be more personal in your approach by sending an email. Particularly useful if your lead does not have an active presence on social media or you want to try a more direct means of contact.
> Use an email address tool like findthat to generate various email possibilities if you cannot get hold of an email address and only have a name and company. Be sure to only use it wisely though and not for spam purposes.
> Use this email response tool to track open and response rates of your emails and manage replies. Accordingly, you will be able to adapt your email strategy by figuring out the most effective format.
> Consider the potential pitfall of emails. People will generally receive your correspondence in the middle of their working day, when they are likely to be busy and not in a position to respond to any speculative emails. Accordingly, this is where social media can be advantageous; people are more likely to check these channels when they are less busy and will therefore be more receptive.
> A handwritten note will really stand out in the midst of impersonal emails. For example, you could cut out a relevant news clipping or article and send it in the post with an accompanying note. Well-written, concise and informative, a small gesture that will get you noticed, placing you in a great position ahead of your call.
Stay tuned for the next post where we will discuss how to go about making the crucial first call.
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