I’ve developed nine strategies for re-engaging prospects and clients following the new year to help. None of them begins with a hard pitch, and each is centred on providing value to your potential. Incorporate these suggestions into your Q1 sales strategy and see what they may do for your bottom line.
Reconnecting with Existing Clients
1. Start working before the holidays.
You may ensure that you can resume your interactions with your clients after the holidays by scheduling meetings before the holidays begin. That way, you’ll have time set out for the important talks that occur during Q1, and you’ll also demonstrate to your clients that you won’t forget about them once the new year arrives.
2. Connect right away.
If you’ve taken enough time off over the holidays, it’s critical to contact your clients as soon as the holidays are over to stay top of mind. You don’t want to take so long that they assume you’ve forgotten about them and decide to go elsewhere for solutions.
Make it a point to respond to their emails. If you’re starting outreach, make it a top priority as soon as you return to the office.
3. Review your previous year’s partnership.
It can be beneficial to rehash your connection from the previous year and all that you’ve accomplished together to re-engage with your existing clientele.
This allows your clients to see all of the ways that your collaboration has helped them accomplish, and it will enable them to envision what they will achieve in the following year, thanks to your partnership.
4. Ask how you’re doing.
It’s also critical to ask your clients how they feel about your relationship over the last year. In this manner, you can learn about their thoughts on the past year and anything they want to change in the coming year, allowing you to continue a great relationship with everyone.
When your client is on the phone, ask them what they enjoyed about your organisation last year and where you can improve. Then, use their responses to inform them of new features, upgrades, or next actions. You’re listening and giving extra services that will help them grow by doing so.
You can leave a short message or email that says, “[Prospect name], I’d love to talk to you in January to discover what we did well last year and how we can better serve you in the next year.”
5. Determine their year’s priorities.
Get a feel of the year’s client marketing cadence, trade show itineraries, and product/feature roadmaps. Then, when you know what clients have prioritised, you can arrange your outreach accordingly and provide them with what they require before realising it.
If a customer plans a series of Midwest marketing events, you’d know to call them a month or two before the first event and say, “I know it’s vital for your firm to grow its reach in the Midwest in 2022. In anticipation of that expansion and your upcoming events, I’d like to speak with you about X service that may be of assistance.”
By organising your sales around their schedule, you will boost your chances of success and become a vital part of their year-end priorities.
6. Find out about their hiring plans.
Speak with an HR/Recruiting contact to hear about your client’s hiring plans for the coming year. If their response is, “We should have four positions filled in our customer service staff by Q2,” you’ve learned a few things. First and foremost, you are aware that customer service is a top priority.
Second, you’re aware that an executive is pushing for these new hires. It’s now your responsibility to uncover why customer service is such a priority, how involved that executive is (i.e., can you speak directly to the decision-maker), and what other initiatives they’ve devoted resources to this year.
You can plan your next step as a salesperson if you know what roles a company is hiring for. For example, suppose a client is switching trucking vendors next summer and requires additional team members onboarded by then, time your sales effort to ease or improve the onboarding process.
Instead of rehashing your client’s needs from the previous quarter, you might explore new strategies for the coming year and position yourself as a forward-thinking ally.
Reconnecting with Prospects
7. Keep a careful eye on people who signed up throughout the holiday season.
EOY can be a busy time for everyone, including you and your prospects. Pay particular attention after the holidays to candidates who may have signed up during the holiday season but slid under your notice during your EOY efforts.
8. Put yourself ahead of your competitors.
Prospects who are concerned typically with Q4 are not worried in Q1. You may take advantage of this to position yourself as a partner and expert in their annual planning. You can give them some breathing room after Q4 and ask about their pain points and issues when Q1 arrives.
Assume a prospect was overburdened with end-of-year paperwork in December. In that situation, I’d follow up in January with solutions like, “You know, I talk to a lot of teams with similar difficulties, and I’ve been able to decrease their annual paperwork by half with our solution.”
Because you didn’t overload them in Q4 and because you followed up proactively in Q1, you’re uniquely positioned to offer solutions that will keep them from repeating the same mistake next year.
This also makes it more difficult for competitors to steal their customers. You’ve already established yourself as a useful and solution-focused component of the prospect’s planning and decision-making processes.
If you already know what strategic projects your prospect will be focusing on this year, you’ll be in a good position to continue as a partner and provider.
9. Make contact with new hires.
Many businesses hire aggressively at the start of the year. If a deal falls through in the fourth quarter, use January to resurrect it. How? Make time to meet with new employees. The simplest meeting to schedule is with a unique employee because they are eager to contribute to their firm.
Inquire with your champions about who they’ve just hired, and focus on departments where your deal is stuck. This is also an effective method of reaching out to influencers. A new hire’s title often does not correspond to their actual responsibilities. You may approach a marketing manager functioning more like a director — without the tag or red tape that comes with the job.
“I know you’ve only been there X weeks, but I’ve been talking to a few people on the [insert team name] team, and I’d love to know if this is relevant to your position,” they say. Because your prospect is new, they are seeking solutions rather than objections. As a result, if they hear anything promising, they’re likely to take advantage of it.
As a bonus, new hires are frequently treated as guests at Grandma’s house. Because they aren’t as challenged as veteran personnel, you can make strong demands.
But keep in mind that you don’t want to work around your champion. “I know you just employed numerous engineers; could you tell me which department they work in?” is a good question to ask. If your champion is unwilling to assist, the bargain is most certainly dead, and you should proceed. However, if they provide you with contact information for these new hires, you may be able to breathe new life into your deal.
If a bargain is dead, be honest about it and don’t be scared to delete those accounts/deals during the month. Instead, free up your time and pipeline to welcome fresh, promising opportunities in the upcoming/new year.