Or is your strategy somewhat of a “hit & miss” process where you simply connect by chance, as opposed to any planned approach.
I was recently reminded by chance of the many lost opportunities in respect to not staying connected to dormant accounts. A “dormant account” can be described as someone you’ve done business with before, but the project or need was taken care of. You and the client had gone your separate ways. Out of site – out of mind!
Let me give you a very personal example where I simply got lucky as opposed to any “planned approach”. By chance I got a call from a rep from an insurance company I had done business with 3 years ago based in Alberta. She asked if I could give her written confirmation that she had attended a training program we had run. She needed this to claim some “continuous learning credit”, demanded by her industry association to keep her license. This lead to a conversation about how things were going at work and if any significant changes had taken place. Yes, she said, things were good and she had a new boss. When I inquired if it would make sense to talk to the new boss – she volunteered to write a nice introduction and a personal recommendation.
That chance call from someone within a so-called “dead” account – lead to my largest sale for the year!
So – sometimes we get lucky!! – but what about all the opportunities from old dormant accounts that I don’t know about?
So what ‘s the problem – how come I had lost touch? There were 3 things at play
- The “tyranny of urgent” all the stuff that needed to get done today!
- “Out of site out of mind” the old customer is often located in areas where you don’t bump into them.
- Perhaps most tellingly of all – my own disorganization! – I had no systematic “touch strategy” or CRM system to remind me to stay in touch
The opportunity to “mine” so called “dead accounts” can be very rewarding as my own good luck showed me.
The solution is really quite simple – you need a good CRM system to help you with your “touch” strategy and then you need the discipline to actually use it!