Nobody wants to be that person. You know, the seemingly spammy sales pro regularly adding to the deluge of unwanted emails flooding other people’s inboxes. They’re the worst, right? Delete. Delete. DELETE.
But as b2b sales enthusiasts, we also don’t want to give up on the once engaged contacts who are possibly still interested in our businesses (and potentially a purchase or referral down the road).
That said, thawing unengaged, cold contacts sometimes feels like fighting an uphill battle. Particularly when research shows that the average B2B database decays at a rate of 2.1% per month. That’s an annualized rate of 22.5%!
Of course, some of this decay occurs for reasons outside of our control – contact email addresses change due to new jobs or company acquisitions, unqualified leads opt out, and so on.
So how exactly do we go about reigniting stale relationships and cleaning out the cobweb-covered contacts that are contributing to database decay?
Identify the circumstances around each opportunity
Make a list of cold leads and the circumstances around each missed opportunity to inform your strategy. For example:
If the lead dropped out of the funnel because they were busy, you’ll want to make sure to focus on creating stand-out subject lines and providing as much contextual information as possible upfront to save them time.
- If there are lingering questions, make a point of providing personalized answers when you reach back out.
- If the deal stalled after you sent a proposal or demo-ed a product, address objections or clarify key details to get the deal back on track.
- And, if they weren’t interested in moving forward, skip it.
Send a “9 Word Email”
This strategy was pioneered by entrepreneur and online marketer Dean Jackson for warming up old real estate leads. The format is simple. Use the customer’s first name as the title (‘Steve’). The body of the email is (roughly) 9 words: ‘Are you still looking at getting [insert] [your] [service]?’ Then sign off with your own first name.
Make Them Laugh
Send a message that adds a little humor or amusement to their day, while remaining on-brand and appropriate. People like to laugh. Research from Wharton, MIT, and London Business school has shown many business benefits of a little laughter at work. And it looks like we need it, too! Adults over 35 laugh only 15 times a day, compared to more than 400 times for giggle-happy babies.
Retarget Through Social Platforms
This is always a great option. You can upload custom audiences to retarget your leads where they already are. The benefit of this is that it also increases the likelihood that they will engage with your brand on social media by following your account.
Scan Their Social Media And Reach Out
If leads have stopped responding to phone calls and emails or have otherwise gone cold, you need to provide more value and possibly differentiate your approach. First, scan their social media to see if they have moved to a new company or have a new role. Sometimes small outreaches, such as congratulating them or wishing them a happy birthday, can open up conversations.
Have A Real Person Email A Valuable Offer
Try sending an email from a real person offering something of value. Reach out with a customized email, sending leads to a piece of content that is specific to what we know about them and their needs.
Bait Them With Content
The easiest and most effective way to reconnect, sharing your content can bring your cold leads back into the hot tub. A free ebook, webinar, case study, something that displays your offering’s value is essential in reigniting interest in your products of services:
- You provide them with proof of the value you can provide
- You can measure their interaction to frame the next interaction
- You build trust and brand awareness
- You continue to keep them interested and engaged
Consider Where You Choose to Make Contact
Particularly in cases where the deal originally fell through because the lead got too busy or forgot to follow up, making a point of “meeting” prospects on their preferred channel can help you cut through the noise and get this deal back on track.
Look into the demographics of your old leads to identify which channels make the most sense for making a reintroduction.
Older buyers might prefer to use Facebook, while Millennials might primarily use Twitter. Depending on industry or role, LinkedIn might be the best choice, here, regardless of which generation they belong to.
Reexamine The Data
Reengaging cold leads can be achieved by reexamining the data associated with them. It’s important to dig deep into the data to identify the right decision-makers at the right time in their buying journey. New and innovative ways to do this today are emerging, such as the powerful combination of intent monitoring and business contact data.
Change Your Question
If you have not received a response to your last email to the lead, have a look at what your close was. Most people, instead of saying ‘No’ to a request they can’t fulfill, simply do not respond at all to save themselves from the awkwardness. To get them back in talking mode, approach with a different, more effortless close.
Extend Your Soft Offer
You’ll never buy a car before taking it out for a test drive. Many of your prospects think the same way about your product. If they are going to invest in it, they would want to try it out first. So, when you feel like your lead is starting to act distant, extend your soft offering.
Lure them back in with a free trial or a simple demo to understand the features of your product. Did you know that in the SaaS industry, many product and service providers obtain 100% of their customers through conversions of free trials to paid subscribers? That’s reassuring data for other sectors too. When your charm stops working on them, pull the big guns out and let your product do the talking.
Pick Up Where You Left Off
Make things easy on your prospects by offering a recap of where things were before everything fell apart. We recommend approaching this as a friendly reintroduction, focusing less on conversions and more on restarting the conversation.