Right now. Stop it. Just stop it. Stop the valueless “just checking in” emails – you’re only annoying your client. You need to give them a compelling reason to pick up the phone/send an email.
Now, where do we draw the line between a diligent sales professional who consistently remains “top of mind” by offering insight and industry trends and a pushy salesperson who can’t take the hint? As much as you don’t want to be the latter, you likely fall into the category of not being persistent enough. In fact, 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls and 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up. (Source: Marketing Donut)
Why it happens
Paraphrasing from Steven Covey, “it’s the whirlwind.” The whirlwind is all of the day-to-day that gets in the way of us achieving our strategic goals. As salespeople, we sometimes forget that our clients are caught in the whirlwind with their own jobs! And, unless we communicate value and a sense of urgency to implement our product up-front (which you should have done if you’re employing a consultative sales approach), we are not at the top of their “to-do” list for the day. They have their bosses, their customers, their team members, their employees and their own life going on...so you better stand out! I know what you think when you call them, but you must remember that it's not about you. We think, if you just take our call, we can help!… and they think, I don’t have time to listen to a sales pitch right now!
What to do about it
Keep it short and sweet, but something that compels them to act. It can be a phone call or an email (a short email is best), but get to the point when calling them and “following up”.
Re-establish the value you bring to the table. Remind them of their “pain points” and go back to your notes from your first meeting. Use social selling tactics to grab their attention; reference something they recently posted on LinkedIn. Reiterate the value that your product/service provides, as well as highlighting the recent success you have had since your client went dark. There are plenty of ways to follow up with value, so get creative!
Perhaps it's subtle, but the difference in “following up to add value” and “just checking in” will make all the difference in a competitive sale.