Keeping up connections with prospects, especially when working from home, should be an ongoing task for salespeople. In sales, many deals are aided if you know the right people. It’s especially important now because of many people working from home and not having many (if any) in-person meetings. Sales Hacker’s Joe Venuti shares ways reps can reach out and continue nurturing relationships, even at a distance. Also, he gives tips on how to make your communications stand out during a time when prospects’ inboxes and voicemails are loaded.
Venuti first emphasizes the importance of cultivating human-to-human experiences. “In your rush to make sales, it’s important to keep in mind that your prospects are more than just a number to meet quota or another email address to reach out to,” he writes. “They’re real people with real concerns, and they have their own professional and personal responsibilities to manage.”
Making connections so you know the right people
His first tip to creating connections so that you know the right people is to keep it old school. Remember how fun it was to get mail? Even in this time of digital communication, people still enjoy receiving a letter: Venuti reports that 94% of people say they have a positive reaction when receiving personal letters and cards. Why not take this opportunity to establish a connection via snail mail? But, Venuti warns, don’t use the handwritten note to sell. Instead, use it to simply say hello. “Send along a motivating message to check in on how they’re holding up, and find out what their most significant pain points are during this trying time,” he suggests. And, most likely, you’ll receive a reply; he also reports that 79% of consumers will act on direct mail immediately, compared to only 45% who will immediately respond to an email.
Once you’ve established a connection with a prospect, it’s up to you to maintain it. Venuti shares various ways to do this, and one involves simply thinking of little ways to make their lives easier. Sending a little package along that is personalized can have a big impact. He suggests:
- An office setup kit with pens, a branded notebook– anything that can make their home office setup more comfortable
- A mental health kit that could include meditation service gift card, essential oils and other items that calm and soothe
- Does your prospect have a pet? Consider sending a new toy or even a branded leash
Whatever you send, it doesn’t need to be big and extravagant, just personalized. “Make sure you already have a relationship with your prospect and confirm their address to ensure your surprise-and-delight gift is welcome and arrives at the recipient’s desired address,” he suggests. Remember, people wanting to know the right people extends beyond who you want to know. Be someone that your prospects and clients want to be proud to know as well.
These and the other suggestions that Venuti shares will help you establish and maintain connections during these unique times, as well as in the future. You’ll find that these connections can lead to lasting long-term relationships and business deals.