Five Ways to Keep Your Prospects Engaged During the Holiday Slump

November 19, 2020 Written by Jake Sorofman

‘Tis the season of stalled sales cycles and distracted buyers. How do you keep your prospects engaged this time of year? That’s sometimes easier said than done … but here are a few tips:

1. Share something of value

Who doesn’t like a gift? Whether you’re sharing something simple and easy like an interesting article that you read or something perhaps a bit heftier like branded swag, you’re initiating an exchange of value that your prospect may feel inclined to reciprocate.

In a previous life, my team found that gifting a prospect after a certain stage in the sales cycle lifted win rates by double digits. What’s old is new again: direct mail is hot. Great services like Sendoso and Alyce make it easy to integrate personalized gifting into your workflow. Think of this as the age of the lumpy mailer, the bulky package that shows up on your prospect’s desk that’s simply too conspicuous to overlook. Your email open rates may hover in the 20% range, but who’s going to ignore a package that shows up on their desk? Certainly not this guy. And probably not your prospect either. Everyone appreciates a gift, particularly this time of year. 

But please be sure to pay off the promise. The thing on the inside should be as impressive as the packaging on the outside. If you bury a fidget spinner inside a box designed for a small refrigerator you’re destined for some serious blowback from prospects who will rightfully call you out on your frivolous contribution to landfills and carbon footprint.

2. Help them plan for next year

Saying that it has been a strange year would be a dramatic understatement. For many obvious reasons, your prospects are likely rethinking their strategies for next year. Lend them a hand. MetaCX produced a simple eBook as a strategic planning framework to help companies think through their priorities for next fiscal year. Share this … or better yet, create your own.

3. Show them you did your homework

Probably not unlike you, I’m inundated with a daily barrage of solicitous, often tin-eared and mistargeted emails and LinkedIn messages asking for my time and attention. Also probably unlike you: I ignore 99.3% of them. What of the remaining 0.7%? Those are the ones that demonstrate proof of effort. They dug deeper to make some unobvious connection to me or my business. And, for that, I reward them with a reply, if not a commitment of my time. Demonstrating that you did your homework will earn you both goodwill and engagement.

4. Flip the script

Most of us are pretty much inured to the same-old tired tactics that salespeople employ to get our attention. It all becomes so predictable that the messages muddle and the asks run together. Try flipping the script. For example, instead of the standard-issue email dressed to impress, hit them with one sentence. Get right to the point and don’t hide behind some false pretense that you’re not selling something. Of course you are! Who isn’t? Own it. They’ll likely respect that. Radical candor can be disarming.

5. Be hyper-relevant

Of course getting right to the point only works if the point is the right one. By doing your homework, you can uncover the insights that inform a hyper-relevant approach to your messaging. If they’re a public company, read their annual report and SEC filings or listen to earnings calls. Visit G2, Captara, TrustRadius and other review sites. Ignore the fives (fan boys and girls) and the ones (haters always gonna hate). Research the twos, threes and fours and you’ll likely see patterns emerge. Focus on the outcomes that you know will get their attention.  

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