In our previous article, we explored the new world of connecting with a virtual audience and if, as an outbound tactic, the telephone call would work. Our own results and evidence around us, have shown that calls are being answered readily and are well received.

The dilemma, for many organisations in the B2B long sales cycle segment, is why bother if there is a low probability of making a sale? If you don’t make that call, you will never know…

More importantly, it’s all about building and maintaining the relationship so that, come The Recovery and that “buying” day finally does come, at least you are in the conversation.

The alternative is to be back at zero: No pipeline; In start-up mode. Do you want that? This applies equally to both organisations that are thriving right now as well as the challenged. Who wants to jump on the roller-coaster of boom and bust…

From the work that we do, we are well aware of the level of retention by the market and, surprise, surprise, it’s not great at times. You’ve worked hard to build and retain a pipeline, so why give up and let it all go? Worse still, if your prospects and clients don’t hear from you, they may assume you have been yet another victim of the virus and gone out of business. It’s amazing how quickly rumors can start.

The Power (or not) of Email

“Well, let’s just email them for now”, I hear you say. Emailing your prospects is not enough. Inboxes are currently fuller than ever, bursting at the seams with COVID-19 messages from every organisation that we have ever had any contact with. Email fatigue is at an all-time high. Simply look at your own behaviours towards email…

Let’s assume I have done a great job and convinced you that continuing to call your prospects is a great idea. So, when you do get to speak with them, how is the conversation best handled?

The Conversation

We highly recommend the “human touch”. Treat them like a friend. Call to see how they and their company are doing. Empathize with them but don’t expend too much energy enjoying the problem. Talk about the opportunities that the current business climate could present to them and suggest ways in which you can augment that effort.

Be as genuine as possible. Be open but do not be desperate – never a good look.

Listen well. Understand their challenges and be as creative as possible. Look for different ways of doing business that helps them through the current situation. Be as generous as you can be. Generosity is always appreciated and remembered for a long time.

Everyone is a little distracted at the moment and scrambling like crazy, so be as low maintenance as possible by offering novel solutions instead of seeking direction.

In the spirit of helping, give them an opportunity to help someone else who may have a more immediate need by referring you to them. Referrals are powerful. They are great ice-breakers and carry a level of instant trust.

Handled in the right way, at the end of the call your prospect will appreciate you more. Trust will have been built and, you never know, there might just be a short-term need.

Make that call!