Posted on in Sales

Your Hidden Gold Mine: Past Prospects

As a business owner, you know prospects are a crucial factor to your success. But if a prospect slips away, you’re losing business—and therefore money. That’s why maintaining a relationship with your prospects—and especially reconnecting with them over time—is one of the smartest moves for your business strategy.

Hot Prospects Gone Cold

You’ve invested so much time calling and reaching out to prospective customers, making what you feel is a winning impression. You left your contacts on a positive, informed note, and they expressed interest your services—but you receive no follow-up call placing a request for your services.

So you invest more time, making countless follow-up calls, and yet you hear nothing in return. You ask yourself an endless list of questions such as “what did I do wrong?” “did they hire another company?” “did something unexpected come up?” or “did the customer put the project on the back burner?” Without their response, you’re unsure how you should proceed. You want to know if they’re still interested, but you don’t want to be a pest or waste productive time when you could be contacting new prospects instead.

Reigniting Your Sales Pitch

While it may seem like a lost cause, it’s only to your benefit to give it one more try. You have nothing to lose—just potential customers to gain.

It’s time to dig up your e-mail list of old prospects, update a new message, and resend it in an effort to reconnect and to get a reply resolving the issue one way or the other.

Consider adding these helpful questions to your e-mail to prompt a reply. By numbering or alphabetizing the questions, you’ll be making it as easy and quick for your prospect to respond as possible.

1. Open the e-mail with a short note about your attempts to reconnect and that going forward, a simple “yes” or “no” response will help you know when to stop reaching out.

2. Ask if the prospect would like to remain on your e-mail contact list in case of future projects.

3. Ask if they’d like you to follow up with a phone call.

4. Ask if want to be removed from the contact list permanently.

5. Ask if they prefer being contacted at a future date to schedule an appointment.

6. Ask if there is any project you can currently help them with.

7. End with a “thank you for your time” sign off.

Prospect Feedback

Be prepared for a variety of responses and don’t be discouraged if the prospect prefers no more contact or, even after this last attempt, you still don’t receive a reply.

You may receive some negative responses, but at least you’ll have a final answer and won’t waste any more time contacting them. Now you’ll be able to focus on the next prospect.

You may also find you’ll receive a healthy portion of responses requesting a phone call or requesting to schedule a future appointment.

There will also be those prospects who still will not reply. Note this on your contact list and let them go. Their silence can mean any number of things, so consider their response as a “4” and use your energy elsewhere to attract new customers.

Use this e-mail option when all attempts at connecting have failed over a period of months. Keep the subject line light and to the point with something such as “trying to make contact one last time.” Making it easy for the prospect to reply gives them the opportunity to reply without feeling pressure to explain why they haven’t previously responded.

Reconnecting with Old Prospects

You’ll also have a contact list of newer prospects that you may have only contacted once or may not have followed up with at all. For these gems, there are a few tips to use to prompt them into responding.

1. If you’re making an initial call or second call, be sure to have a reason to share for the call, something that will spark their interest. Maybe you’re having an open house or offering a discount on services for an upcoming month.

2. Create a monthly newsletter highlighting your business services and e-mail it to prospective customers. It should be both fun yet informative.

3. Select the prospects you feel have the most potential for business and send them a gift along with a newsletter. This can be something as simple and visual as a pen, magnet, note pad, or coffee coaster with your company name.

4. Collect reviews from customers who are satisfied with your company’s services, and make sure to feature these in your monthly newsletter.

Don’t let old prospects slip to the wayside. Stay in contact with the new ones and reach out to the old ones, even if it’s one last time. That one time may be all you need to gain new business.

Using past remodel job prospects is a great way to save money for your contractor business.

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