Fishing for B-to-B Fortune
Mail prospects invitations to events, seminars or educational programs, or encourage them to meet with you or attend activities you sponsor at industry trade shows. Identify potential opportunities for face-to-face contact and use direct marketing to promote them.
When They Still Haven’t Said “Yes”
Be realistic about the time frame for B-to-B lead conversion. Large transactions may take months or even years to complete. It’s usually better to keep prospects for big sales on your contact list and continue sending them information, even if they are not responsive. Executives change jobs often, and the next decision-maker could be the one who responds. Or the company’s needs could change suddenly, making the acquisition of your product or service an urgent priority. By communicating regularly and staying on prospects’ radar screen, your marketing initiative could be the tipping point that finally results in the sale.
If enough time has passed without a response to make you question whether the prospect is still interested, make a last-ditch effort to find out. Send a personalized letter from a top company official, or make a phone call to determine if the company still has a need for your product or service and wants to receive future communications from you.
If the answer is “yes,” probe further to understand the time frame and the additional considerations that must be addressed before the company can act. If the answer is “no,” take it off your list for now and attempt another contact at some reasonable time in the future.
Jean M. Gianfagna is president of Gianfagna Marketing & Communications Inc., an award-winning direct marketing agency and strategic consulting firm in Cleveland. For more information, visit www.gianfagnamarketing.com, or call (440) 808-4700, ext. 11.