One of the first steps toward closing a deal with a prospective client is landing the first meeting. It’s often one of the most challenging ones for sales teams, especially in today’s digital landscape.
Cold calls and generic emails no longer make an impression. They’re impersonal and mostly seen as an annoyance. So how do you cut through the clutter and rise above the rest?
Here are five proven strategies to get a prospect’s attention and drive more meetings.
Using a Personalized Gifting Strategy in Cold Outbound Marketing
You see a lot of personalization tips online, but often these are really more about relevance — using personalization engines to create and deliver relevant content rather than truly personalized. True personalization is about crafting your approach to a specific person.
People rarely get gifts from anyone outside of family, so when you send them something, it’s going to grab their attention. When you can make it personal based on who they are, it can make an impact. It shows you’ve put some thought into it.
Do your research, whether it’s LinkedIn, other social media, Google searches, or mutual connections. Find something that matters to them.
- Things that people have self-authored, such as a webinar or article
- Self-identified traits, such as background, schools, or personal interests
- Hobbies, pets, or career milestones
Personal gifts can induce the reciprocity principle. People tend to feel an obligation to return a favor with one of their own, which can help you book meetings. When you personalize a gift, you’re 60% more likely to get a response from a prospect compared to calling or emailing them.
If you are sending a generic gift, make sure you personalize the card by sharing an idea of how the gift might be used, such as celebrating a specific accomplishment.
Keeping Prospects Engaged and Decreasing No-Shows
Even after you’ve got a prospect to commit to a meeting, it’s crucial to keep them engaged in the lead-up as part of your sales strategy. In B2B sales, between 20% and 40% of meeting no-shows are common.
Sometimes, it’s because of a false objection. A prospect might commit to a time and date because they’re really just trying to get off the phone. You’re better off figuring that out early rather than tying up your schedule. Connecting with prospects in multiple follow-ups can help. Sending an email confirming an appointment is an easy way for a prospect to back out, rather than having to say no on the phone.
When you are at the beginning of developing a relationship with a prospect in your sales pipeline, the more time you invest, the more difficult it will be for them to no-show. It also demonstrated your level of interest and intent. To be effective, though, you have to do more than just send reminders. You want to demonstrate your investment in them by providing value leading up to the appointment.
One example is Chili Piper, which sends branded hot sauce to prospects. They were able to automate much of the engagement in the sales funnel by generating reminders to reps to follow up after delivery. With this one simple two-step process, the SDR team increased their pipeline 23X and increased meeting show rates by 33%.
Reconnecting with Prospects Who Have Gone Dark
It’s happened to all of us. We connect with a prospect and feel like they are heading down the right path and suddenly they ghost you. They ignore your follow-up calls and emails. Sometimes, it’s because they are busy or there’s been a shift internally. Most often, however, it’s because you haven’t sold them on the value of spending time with you. They either don’t trust you yet or you have to establish a baseline relationship.
Intelligent gifting can help. In one recent experiment, we took 100 people that had gone dark on a hundred deals. We asked the group we were working with to spend an hour finding something of value for that person, such as a book, eBook, or something they had uncovered during a discovery call. When they sent them out, 83 out of 100 responded — 65 responded within the first 24 hours.
It doesn’t have to include a call to action. In fact, that may evoke a feeling of indebtedness. Just sending something and saying you thought they might like this can produce a powerful response. It doesn’t come off as a sales technique or generic message but as an authentic interaction.
Build Connections and Drive Meetings with People Who Recently Joined Their Company
When new people join a company, you’ve got a window of opportunity. Statistics show that within the first 90 days, 92% of decision-makers will make purchase decisions. So, getting to them quickly is important before they make decisions. In most cases, successful decision-makers are going to follow a similar playbook that they’ve used before (and helped get them a promotion or new position). If you don’t get in with them at the beginning, you may miss an opportunity to convert them.
It can be as simple as introducing (or reintroducing yourself) and saying congratulations on a new position, especially if it’s someone you’ve worked with before at another business that was a champion for your product. While social media can connect you, it’s often fleeting and impersonal. Taking a moment to add a personal touch through strategic gifting can make a big difference.
Some salespeople make the mistake of pushing too early here. Prospects know what you want, so it’s often a better tactic to connect first before you ask for the meeting.
Retaining Customers When Your Champions Leave the Company
So much of our sales training focuses on new business and constantly growing the sales pipeline, we often forget to resell the continuing value of our products and services. At the same time, other salespeople are calling and telling them about the value of switching.
You are particularly vulnerable when key members that have embraced your brand leave a company. A new person comes in and may want to change things up. So, you need to be aware of changes to key stakeholders and connect with their replacements to prevent them from switching. You can use the same gifting strategies as with new prospects, but with the goal of meeting with them to explain the value of your products or services.
Don’t forget to track where your champions go when they leave your customer. They’re solid prospects wherever they land next and need to be part of your sales funnel.
Make an Authentic Connection
Personalization and gifting are all about making an authentic connection with prospects to cut through the clutter of generic emails and cold calls. It goes beyond basic lead generation tactics to improve your odds of getting a meeting and increase sales conversion rates.
A sending platform can help you incorporate personalized gifting and a human marketing experience to stand out, make a personal connection with a B2B buyer, and move them through the sales funnel. Using a sending platform can help generate leads in a unique way with an easy-to-use system for sending personalized gifts with minimal effort, and make an authentic connection that makes you stand out.
Request a demo today to learn how a sending platform can help you generate more leads and get more meetings.