Apparently, I can be very annoying.
Well, according to my husband anyway.
Whenever I go out in the evening and he stays at home, I have an uncanny habit of returning 15 minutes before the end of whatever film he’s watching.
I kick off my shoes, plonk myself on the sofa next to him and start with my cross-examination:
“Is she the baddie?” “Why’s he going down that dark alley? It’s clearly a trap.” “Is this a flashback or a dream sequence?” “Is she his daughter or his girlfriend?
and (because I’m turning into my mother)
“Is that thingamajig out of whatitsname?”
And so on. Pretty irritating, I have to admit.
I get the timing all wrong.
But it’s a skill, isn’t it? To time things just right. Especially when it comes to sales and marketing.
It’s a real talent to be visible and ready exactly at the point prospects need us – just when they’re ready to buy.
All too often in business we’re quick to move on when conversations with prospects or partners don’t bring in the bucks immediately. We go all Ariana with a ‘Thank you, next.’ and ride out of town forever.
But it’s a mistake.
‘Not now’ doesn’t always mean ‘never’. We have to play the long game.
I recently started working with a client who’s been quietly sitting on my newsletter list for three years! Three years of reading my articles, getting to know me and what I can offer, until suddenly she had the right project for me. Boom!
And it’s not the first time.
I’ve had a number of clients who I’ve been in touch with for over a year before we work together. But because I was on their radar the whole time, I was also the first person they called when eventually their budgets and stars aligned.
So my question to you is: how do you stay top of mind with your prospects? How do you remind them that you’re there? How do you keep proving your worth so you’re top of the list when the time is right?
Here are some ideas:
- regular email marketing (still so effective and yet so underrated)
- active social media (i.e. liking, commenting on and engaging with prospects’ posts, not just chucking out ‘me, me, me’ information)
- sending thoughtful articles in the post on topics they might be interested in (yes, old school hard copies – it works)
- providing useful free content like guides, templates, checklists or e-books
- mailing holiday cards with a quirky gift
- introducing them to someone useful
- recommending a book you think they’d like
and, of course, there are always good old fashioned phone calls and coffees to fall back on.
Playing the long game, staying on the radar and being there right at the point that you’re needed is the key to successful marketing and sales.
Because, just like in comedy, in marketing timing is everything.