Heating Up Cold Prospects: Strategies for Effective Outreach

You thought they were ready to start working with you. And then they ghosted you.

This happens to the best of us. Even when we’ve asked great questions and exposed the gaps in their plans or shown them great opportunities. They knew they needed to move forward. And then they didn’t.

I know that I’ve lost sure-thing clients because I didn’t do as well as I could have. I also know that I’ve lost potential clients due to nothing I said or did.

So, when a hot prospect who you know is a good fit for your practice and you know you can be of great value to you, turns into a gold prospect, is there anything you can do to revive their interest or at least get them to respond to your inquiries?

Today’s article is inspired by my colleague Sara Grillo. Sara specializes in non-BS marketing and lead generation for financial advisors.

You can sign up for her short and helpful tips HERE. I recommend them!

Here’s Sara’s piece with my added comments in italics.

Question from a subscriber:

How do I follow up non-obtrusively with a prospect who has gone dark?”

#1 – Find out their interests on social media (more likely Facebook) and send them something in the mail related to it.

I once had this client that I just couldn’t close. I called up his office and asked the office manager what his hobbies were. She said he loved motorcycles, so I sent him a book about the history of motorcycles. The agreement was signed within two days.

I thought Sara was going to say, “So I bought him a motorcycle.” While I like this idea, sometimes you don’t have to spend a dime to implement the spirit of this idea. You can find a unique website or interesting article and forward that to them.

#2 – Invite them to an event.

This is a low-pressure way to get them to engage. Call them personally and invite them to a webinar you are having. If they don’t answer, leave a voicemail so they hear your voice. Don’t talk about the deal, don’t try to sell them, just make a nice gesture and leave it where it is.

You can also try inviting them to one of your client-appreciation events. Once there, they will see how much your clients like and respect you. They’ll meet you in person – maybe for the first time.

#3 – Send them a blunt email.

If they have gone dark, you don’t have that much to lose. Just be respectful about it.

I send this: “Forgive me for bugging you but I was curious if you’re interested in talking more or if I should close the file.”

The subject line of the email should be: “Close the file?”

This will certainly get their attention and if they continue to ignore you, it’s a pretty good sign you should take them off your list at least for a while.

A lot of times people appreciate that you aren’t beating around the bush and will provide clarity about what is holding them back.

Sara’s style is a lot blunter than mine. I’ve found two types of emails that can often warm up a prospect who has gone cold.

Email #1 – Send them an article or video or something that they will find valuable. I have two mantras that guide me in these sorts of things. “Always save your best for first.” AND “Money follows value.”

Email #2 – Send something fun. I’ve sent fun emails with a quiz that asks them to check the box that most applies to their situation.

I’ve used choices such as:

___ I was stuck on a desert island for two weeks and have just been rescued. Give me a few days to re-engage.

___ I was called up to pitch for the LA Dodgers (their city team goes here) and I’m busy getting back into playing shape.

___ I’m sorry I’ve been hard to reach. Let’s get something scheduled.

___ I don’t think I’m a great candidate for the work you do.

NOTE: Whatever you do must always be respectful. AND, if this prospect was referred to you, you don’t want any bad word of mouth to be generated.

Speaking of referrals… when a referral prospect goes cold, checking in with the referral source (the introducer) can often get things rolling again.

Related: Mastering LinkedIn Prospecting: Strategic Approaches for Financial Advisors