In sales, we are often told we can't have them all. When prospects turn into cold leads, we must learn to walk away.
Indeed, this is excellent advice. The only problem is, you might have walked away from a potential sale because you thought it was a dead-end already.It isn't easy to walk away.
It's especially difficult when you're walking away from a potential deal; after all, you've spent time, energy, and resources cultivating a relationship, and giving up on it is difficult.
But do you have to?
As a salesperson, you've probably seen it before: The old vanishing act. A lead that showed promise gradually becomes unresponsive and goes cold, icy cold. Next thing you know, it's disappeared. You now have on your hands a cold lead.
What is cold lead anyway?
A cold lead is when a person doesn't show any interest in buying your products and services.
Prospects who are qualified but who aren't ready to purchase right away are cold leads.
But wait! Even if they fall into the cold lead category doesn't mean you throw them out. Not all hope is lost forever. You can turn around those cold prospects and warm them up with effort and care!
Why? As long as they fall into your target market and have the same qualities as your previous customers, you can nurture them into warm leads.
A warm lead could be a person or organization showing an interest in a product or service by following a company on social media, signing up for your email newsletter, or receiving a referral from a previous client.
Warm leads are simply prospects who have expressed an interest in learning more about a product or service. They are far more valuable than cold prospects because now you have gained their contact information. From this information, you are now better positioned to qualify these leads.
Qualified leads are the most valuable types of leads because they are closest to the buying stage of the sales cycle.
A person who conducts a Google search for a specific product or service, for example, is a qualified lead because their need drove them to go online and search for a company like yours.
There are, however, different stages of qualified leads that can be established using what is known as the BANT approach:
- Budget: Does the prospective customer have sufficient funds to purchase your products?
- Authority: Can the prospect make the purchase decision independently, or do they have to answer to someone else?
- Need: Is there a genuine need that the product or service will meet?
- Timetable: Do they have a specific time frame in mind for making a purchase?
Bear in mind, though, that while a person arriving on your website due to a search engine query is a form of qualification, it does not guarantee a sale.
The more information you have about your prospects, the closer you can get to closing a deal and the better prepared you will be to determine whether they are potential clients or tire kickers.
Helpful Tips for Converting Cold Leads
What did you do with a cold lead? Did you put them at the back of your mind? Or worse (cringe), forget about them?
Did you know that 99% of small businesses throw these cold leads away from or let them fall through the cracks because it's time-consuming and expensive to follow them up?
But the truth is, you can save a lot of money when you use old leads in your sales method. The most significant distinction is just that they are much older.
1. Build a New Portfolio
Building a database based on cold and aged leads is cost-effective. You can easily create a vast database of interested and potential customers.
2. Scale the Process
Validate your sales strategy in place using cold and aged leads. It is cost-effective to boost your sales funnel with more prospective customers from your age list.
You may hand leads back to marketing for re-engagement and continual nurturing, fostering opportunities for the sales team to pursue again in the future when the timing is optimal.
When the prospect decides it's time to buy, they don't need to be re-sold because they have the data to make a good buying decision – your product.
3. Have a Care For Their Needs
Make sure that you have well-researched info about your lead this time around before you re-engaged. Know the reason why they didn't buy from you.
By caring about their particular requirements, you can fashion your approach to their needs.
An excellent way to start your correspondence is by addressing the probable cause of their vanishing act. For example, if it's the price, offer a discount. If it's about whether your solutions fit their requirements, tell them you can have an in-depth discussion of what your product can do for their business.
The start of re-engagement with cold prospects starts with understanding their needs.
4. Give Without Expecting Returns
When it comes to giving, the limit does not exist.
Ensure that when you re-engage, do not ask for anything in return. Do not make a sales pitch. Instead, you can attach informative videos and articles. They are great magnets for re-engaging an old lead. Case studies, whitepapers, industry-specific data are also excellent tools for re-engagement.
By doing this, you boost your brand image because it sends a message that your company is dedicated and committed to providing solutions to the industry.
Remember, no selling at this point. When the lead is open to re-establishing communications with you, you may send promotional emails down the line.
Enclose your contact details and information as prospects may need help using the materials you have sent their way.
5. Retarget and Apply the Concept of Pre-Suasion
In Robert Cialdini's book Pre-Suasion, he described the coined word as the process of making recipients of a message receptive even before the message is received.
An example is retargeting hyper-specific ads to cold prospects based on social media platforms. This way, you can reach your leads with your pitch before you send an email or a direct message to them.
6. Send Them Interesting and Relevant Updates
You can send them additions to your portfolio or details about your new services to generate interest. This will make them feel valued.
But of course, send them updates that are relevant to them. You ensure this by looking for specific needs that your prospects match your new products and services.
7. Personalize Your Approach
Clients, of course, have different preferences. Some may respond better with a text, a phone call, or email. Many professionals respond to a direct message via LinkedIn. So it is advisable to use different means of communication to try and get in touch with them.
8. Connect on Social Media
Assume you met a new lead at a networking event a few weeks ago and reached out via email, but you never heard back. You're trapped in the cold zone. Connecting with them on social media is an excellent, subtle way to remind them of your existence. Start by checking to see if they have a Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn presence and connect with them there.
You don't want to come across as a troll or a stalker, so don't go too far. Take it slowly and see if anything comes from one platform. You can then proceed to other social networks.
Now and then, you may want to switch it up. You may connect via email, social media, or even the good old-fashioned handwritten notes and letters in the mail. Believe me. This is a nice touch that many people appreciate. (cold calling VS cold emailing)
The crucial thing is not to use all the channels at once. Or you run the risk of becoming the annoying orange.
Yes! It's the truth. Cold calling is sometimes the only means you will get a definite answer whether you and the prospect will be collaborating. So, hold your breath, exhale, pick up that phone and use your charm! It may have been a while, don't expect your prospect to remember you right away; introduce yourself.
And oh, never leave a voicemail. You want a definitive answer. Better call your cold lead when you know they can answer the phone.
10. Reinforce Your Ethos
Reinforce your ethos as among the expert and thought leaders in your field by highlighting your accomplishments on social media.
Have you been featured in a trusted medium or achieved a milestone that people are talking about? Have you won an award? Highlight those. Don't crow but make sure your recognitions and acknowledgments complement your passion and dedication.
When it comes to cold leads, patience, persistence, and perseverance are the essential ingredients in turning them into hot leads.
There is some interest there. It's your job to work them through your sales pipeline and turn them into satisfied and happy customers.
Try out the tips above, and you will find you will be more effective in reaching out once more to your target audience. It would be highly beneficial for your company to check out SDR teams.