Covid-19 is causing financial pressure. Re-establishing contact with previous clients, will re-igniting your sales leads & income. This is easier and cheaper than looking for new clients. But how to go about it, without wearing out your voice and the phone?
As we all know, it’s easier and cheaper to do business with existing clients than it is to find and sell to new clients. Yet what about previous clients? The ones you have worked with but have lost contact with. They know you and you know them. The problem is you have no idea if they have not needed your services of late or, if in fact, they have gone elsewhere.
It’s easier than looking, looking, looking…
Re-establishing contact with previous clients, and re-igniting your sales leads, is a great idea. It’s cheaper than looking for new clients. The question is, 'How do you go about it?' without spending vast amounts of time on the project.
You could pick up the phone, ask a previous client, how’s it going and then ask if they have any work for you. No? Too blunt? Besides, just because your firm is looking for more work, doesn’t follow they have work ready to go.
Contacting ex-clients via LinkedIn (or some other social media platform) is a possibility, although time consuming. Besides LinkedIn is fine for re-establishing contact at the personal level, it is not suited to re-establishing a working relationship at the business level.
Email with follow-up phone call
To my mind, there is a more subtler approach. First send an email and then a couple of days later, follow this up with a phone call.
The email can be of a generic nature, but personalised. Group previous clients based on the service they used, the industry or sector the firm operates in or some other common denominator. The email can then talk about how since you lasted worked with them, you've gained considerable experience in the field of X (as in the grouping you have placed the client in), plus you could refer to how:
- The law has changed
- Best practice has evolved
- You've noticed (via their website, blog, LinkedIn, newspaper article, etc.) they have been working on XYZ and that this is an area you have been focusing on
- That having recently completed the such and such project that you thought would be of interest to them
In other words, whatever is decided upon, make sure it relates to a change in circumstance. (As this is why you are reaching out.) Finish the email saying that you will give them a follow-up phone call in a day or two.
Once the generic email is created, personalise it. By personalised, I mean start with the person’s first name.
The “value added” approach
A more sophisticated approach - the ‘Value Added Approach’. By adopting this approach, for a generic email, it's not so obvious that you are trying to drum up more business. In your email, refer them to a “freebie” a:
- Special Report
- Specific blog(s)
- Cheat sheet
or some other free offering that could be of benefit to them (and of little cost to you).
Again, a follow-up telephone call a couple of days later is essential if you are to re-establish meaningful contact and to make a sale in the fullness of time.
Engagement for client reactivation
Thanks to Covid-19, engagement is more important now than ever. Yet, it may be tricky for your firm to find the time to re-engage with inactive, previous clients, or indeed, existing clients. We offer an email service that will help with this. We can write the generic email text, add it to our own email software (available for your use) that we and clients use, import the data and personalise the email before sending. Our software, shows who opened the email, which links were clicked on and by whom and so on. Once you have necessary data, then your team can proceed with the follow-up phone calls.
PS. This approach can, of course, also be used for existing clients, particularly the “value added” method.