For any multitude of reasons a prospect may not be in a position to buy from you just yet. As such it is your job to stay in front of them and keep them warm.
People Buy From People.
I’m always a firm believer that it’s better to let your personality shine through and not be hampered down by a script or fear of being ‘unprofessional’. People buy from people they like and being likeable can involve an 8 minute chat about last night’s football. Try where possible to get to know the person you’re dealing with, when is best to catch them, what do they like, what form of communication is best? Don’t forget that normally you will start your ‘relationship’ as a complete stranger interrupting their day to sell them something. A bit of small talk can go a long way!
Keeping in touch with everyone is not always the easiest thing but certainly once or twice a year is fine (unless of course they say otherwise) the new year is often a good time to catch up with people when they will probably have a bit more time and will be getting into gear themselves. If you call someone and they say “Call me back in 3 months” they may well be fobbing you off, but it’s definitely worth taking a note of this and calling them back.
Social Media etc
Social media and linkedin in particular are a godsend for any sales activity. When you see updates from prospects not only does it give you a much easier way to break the ice “I saw you’ve won that big contract!” It can also give you a great indication of when exactly you need to get in touch.
Business Is A Long Game
People have long memories. Just because your proposition isn’t right for one person now, doesn’t mean they might not move on and think of you in the future. Think long term with how you treat people and how you deal with them. I once did a favour for a young entrepreneur and charged him a nominal sum. He made the project a nightmare, decided not to pay me and I let it go. Many years later he was selling to me! This was something i was actually in the market for and was a very expensive buy. Needless to say he didn’t get that job and his small act of unprofessionalism years before had cost him thousands of pounds in the future!