I'm really excited about today's episode, because even though it's short, you're going to walk away with five simple ideas you can implement TODAY to generate new business.
Specifically, we're going to be talking about how to approach old leads and dormant clients effectively and authentically — and how these simple ideas can often lead to paying work almost immediately.
My guest is no stranger to International Freelancers Academy: Coach Jenn Lee. Jenn works with entrepreneurs and solo professionals to turn their passion in to profit through smart marketing and selling strategies. She appears regularly on TV and radio, and she's a sought-after speaker around the country.
The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.
What’s the best way to start this process?
Hopefully you have a database of some kind, even if it’s just a pile of business cards. These are people you’ve had conversations with or connected with in some way. From this database, put together a list of the top 50 dormant clients or prospects you’d like to do business with.
Once you have this list, Coach Jenn has four strategies to reconnect with these people.
Strategy #1: Send an email that benefits them
Send each person on the list an email and include something of interest to them, such as a blog post or article. For example: "I thought of you when I saw this blog post and thought it would be useful for your biz. Let me know what you think of it!"
Find authentic reasons to send “I’m still thinking of you” emails. You can also send via snail mail and include a handwritten note.
Make the emails personal. Show that you understand their business.
Strategy #2: Introduce them to somebody
Think of two people who should know each other, then call them or introduce them via email. The people you’ve introduced will say, “Hey, thanks for the introduction. So what’s going on with you? How’s your business?” It restarts the conversation.
So many people don’t follow up on leads. If you do, people will think of you first.
For more on building relationships, see Ed’s interview with Jenn Lee: Captain Collaborator: A Fun and Authentic Way to Build Relationships and Land More Clients.
Strategy #3: Write an article about them
Write an article about them, put it on your blog and let them know about it. You can even interview them. They’ll cross promote the article for you.
The article shows you’re thinking about them and know their business. It also shows other prospects that you care about your clients.
Others may call and ask to be interviewed too.
All of these strategies are a way of continuing a conversation that’s stalled. But don’t try these strategies just once. Make them a habit.
Strategy #4: Come clean
When all else fails, come clean. People are forgiving when you’re authentic and honest. Write an email or pick up the phone and say, "I dropped the ball a few months ago. It doesn't mean you're not important. I wanted to reach back out to see if I can still help you with XYZ or if you’re still searching for ABC."
By being proactive and getting in front of people, your phone will start ringing. It’s about putting it out there and being consistent. It gets you excited. It warms you up for the next cold call, and protects you from peaks and valleys in your work and income.
Bonus strategy: Give them an idea
Tell your prospect or dormant client about something you did with a similar client (or a client in a similar situation) that worked well. Tell them why you think it would work well for them too.
Similarly, if you’re a writer, read industry publications and come up with content ideas. Tell them about your ideas.
Even if they don’t use your ideas, it shows you’re thinking about them and care enough to bring ideas to the table.
If you apply just one of these strategies, you’ll get more conversations.
Where can we learn more about you?
Jenn’s website is coachjennlee.com. She coaches individuals and businesses on sales and marketing.
Jenn is touring this year with Tory Johnson’s Spark and Hustle, doing mini-intensives focused on marketing.
She also has a new initiative to help product developers get their products on retail shelves through smarter sales and marketing. Learn more at The Nutshell Project.