Stories of prospects ghosting SDRs in holiday seasons are far too common in the sales word. Ask any sales rep and they would tell you that they had at least a few instances where they had been constantly in touch with a prospect, conversations were moving in the right direction, then came the holidays and they haven’t heard back from their prospect since.
This is why holiday seasons are quite tricky for sales professionals. They aren’t ghosted because prospects aren’t interested; It’s just the prospects are too busy. Between strategy, planning, reviews, tons of paperwork, and leaving the office for vacations, talking to sales reps is simply at the bottom of their checklist list that often gets left out.
But for sales reps, it poses a double-edged problem. Being ghosted by a promising prospect is always a setback, but if salespeople attempt aggressive outreach at a time when prospects are genuinely busy, it can potentially backfire further complicating the matter.
If you are worried about the same happening to you, follow these 5 tactics to retain all your prospects after holidays:
The first rule to re-engaging a prospect, particularly high-value targets, is to start early. As the new quarter rolls in, they will be bombarded with reach-outs from other companies and every day you miss out, is a day they might potentially start engaging with your competitors. So start early. And better still, reach out with a message that has nothing to with your product – just to rekindle your lost love. Ask them how they are doing or how their vacation was? This kind of messaging banks upon your previous relationship and puts you ahead of all others.
Though there is a gap of only around a week or two, the business sentiment between the closing of Q4 and opening of Q1 is a stark difference. Keeping that in mind, you must also modulate your conversation to suit the new environment. Especially take note of these two factors:
- Starting Fresh: While common sense dictates that you should pick up a conversation where you left off, it’s actually better in this case if you start fresh. Businesses are under intense pressure while closing Q4 with very different goals and strategies than they would have when kicking off Q1. So start the conversation to the needs of the present and not dwell upon the past.
- Talking Long Term : If Q4 is about meeting goals in short sprints, Q1 is a marathon for strategizing and implementation. It’s a time to discuss not how you can help them improve their operations or ROI in the next few months but rather how your joint synergies would offer dividends in the long term.
Share Your Annual Plan
While you are discussing long term goals, be open about your own plans as well. Share with them the product/service improvements you have in the pipeline, any updates, etc. to help you draw parallels between their plans and yours which may open up opportunities that you can later leverage.
Give a Personal Touch
If it’s a high-value prospect or you have multiple prospects in a given locality, you might also want to invite them for a lunch or a small new year kickoff event to not just re-engage but push your engagement further. After all, no amount of calls or emails can beat a one-on-one meeting.
This is a point that in some cases, is more important than the rest. January is a time that’s known to have some of the highest employee turnovers. That means as you come back from holidays, there is a fair chance the prospect you have been engaging for the last weeks or months would have left the organization leaving you scrambling to find the contacts of their replacement. In such cases, services like SalesIntel can be immensely useful to keep all the data in your database always updated and even find contact details on demand. Just give us your target list and we’ll go get their information for you.
So, Q1 here and the time to start re-engaging your prospects is now. If you are held back by the lack or poor quality of data, get in touch and we can work out the details.