Take a step back and find out how aged leads could be your secret to success in sales.
There’s a hidden gem in the world of sales: aged leads. These are the leads that were once warm or even hot, but have since slipped away for any number of reasons.
For patient and diligent salespeople, aged leads can be a great source of building a client base or boosting revenue. You just have to approach these prospects with a good strategy. How does the process work? Who, specifically, should you contact? And how are these leads different from warm or cold leads?
We often prioritize “fresh” leads. There’s an assumption, usually correct, that if a new prospect contacts you, you need to get back to them within the hour. After that, your chances of winning the sale drop dramatically. If you go more than 24 hours without contacting them, there’s a good probability that they’ve moved on from you altogether.
For outbound sales, any number of things can interrupt the process. For example, your warm lead doesn’t have the funds, or another priority came up.
In both cases, these fresh leads aren’t ready to buy from you. They are no longer warm, but they’re not exactly cold since you’ve already talked to them or they’ve expressed interest in your product or service. That means it’s time to take a different approach.
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5 Ways to use an aged leads strategy to boost your sales numbers
It’s worth noting here that there is another set of aged leads. These are leads with similar circumstances (they were interested but didn’t make a purchase) that you can buy from lead generation services. That’s certainly a valid approach if you’re looking specifically for aged leads, but for now, let’s stick with your own leads.
1. Keep in touch. One way to think of aged leads is to consider them warm-ish leads that you still need to nurture and stay in touch with. As always, you don’t want to overdo things here, but make sure they’re on your email list. Send them a personal email now and then. Depending on the situation, that could be every month or only a few times a year.
2. Call them. Pick up the phone and speak to them occasionally if it seems appropriate. This may work better in a B2B situation than B2C, but use your best judgment.
3. Put them in your calendar. Aged leads won’t have the same circumstances forever. They may not be happy with the other service they went with instead of yours. Their financial situation, whether personal or business, will change. If you know there is an end date on something, such as a contract or an insurance policy, add that date to your calendar and schedule a call around 30 days prior.
4. Be patient. Like any leads, aged leads may not be ready to jump at your offer right away. Your goal is to make sure they are aware of your offer, your excellent customer service, and the fact that you are there for them when they’re ready. You can’t force a sale. And while these leads are potentially interested in your company, you’ll only push them away if you aren’t patient.
5. Stay organized. This part of the strategy is less about how to interact with your leads and more about the quality of the connection that you create. When you’re organized, you don’t forget to make that follow-up call or send an email. You keep notes, so you know where you left off with a prospect or lead. They don’t have to go over the information for you again. You know which product or service they’re most interested in. You know the solutions they need. In reality, staying organized is just an extension of excellent customer service.
In many ways, none of these ideas should be unexpected. You’re probably, or at least should be, using these strategies for all of your leads and lead generation. You need to call cold leads. You have a strategy for calling warm leads and an email drip campaign, as well.
You already know you need to be patient, as so many parts of the sales process are dependent on factors outside your control. And you know that excellent customer service means following up with customers, staying organized, and focusing on your customers’ needs.
One thing that may be different with aged leads is that if they’ve moved on from you and are happy where they’re at, they might decide they don’t want your calls or emails. That’s okay. Respect that and move on. There are plenty of customers out there for you. There’s no point in expending time and energy on a lost cause.
However, until that point is clear, don’t give up on your leads. So many sales are lost simply because salespeople don’t follow through. It can take quite a few calls, emails, and interactions to reach your goals. So make those calls, be patient with yourself, and don’t ignore those aged leads that could be a valuable source of new sales.
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