There are a million reasons to call a prospect--all of them proper and official.
For instance, you can call to tell them about a special sale, to introduce a new product, to alert them to a company-sponsored event.
You can remind them to stock up on an item that is facing an impending shortage. The list, as you know, goes on.
But, there is one reason to call that never goes out of style, and it earns you lots of relationship credits in the Bank of Human Appreciation:
Just calling to say hello.
We do this with family and friends, so why not with clients?
I suspect many of us feel we're wasting everybody's time if we don't begin a conversation with an official, sanctioned reason for our communication. Maybe, we feel we're going to embarrass ourselves by making nothing but small talk.
But here's what happens when you have no official agenda. After asking Bill if he's been getting out on his boat, or up to the mountains for a little skiing, he'll open up and generate an official reason for the call.
He'll probably say, "You know I was thinking about you the other day. I know a guy who could probably use your services."
Wow, that's a referral. I can't tell you how many salespeople complain that they feel odd asking for referrals. Isn't it nice when they just crop up, seemingly by themselves?
This is just the type of serendipitous perk that you get when you call for the heck of it.
I've found that it's also a good time to hear what's happening of consequence in your client's industry. When I speak to my university contacts around the county, I make a point of asking what courses are doing especially well for them.
Always, I hear about new ones that have been flying, to that point, totally under my radar. I may not want to offer the same programs, but knowing that more resources are being placed behind them tells me something about the future direction of my sponsors.
When I check in with the next campus, situated hundred or thousands of miles away, I can mention what seems to be working for my other client.
Because your conversation doesn't have an official agenda, it's very relaxing, and that mood is conducive to doing more business. Everybody appreciates interactions that carry less stress.
You don't want to overdo these calls. One a month, or every other month, might do wonders for you and for your customers.