ContractWhat would your sales reps do if you mandated 10-15% of their upcoming sales quota would need to come from customers who stopped doing business with them?

Bet they’d get on the horn and call them.

Now what if I told you companies we work with do this a little differently and 80% of their sellers gain an appointment with a minimum of one old customer – and we’ve been told as many as 10.

You’d start believing 10-15% of the upcoming sales quota could come from old customers.

And you may change your tune a little from pushing your reps to increase their number of cold calls.

Don’t under estimate the ‘gold’ on old contacts. Share on X

Here’s how we do it.

Instead of culling through Linkedin® for new prospects begin looking up your old customers.

What can you learn?

  • Are they at the same company or somewhere else?
  • Did they get a promotion or remain in the same position?
  • Do you know some of the same people and can use that when you reconnect?
  • What about their hobbies, interests or associations?

Now the challenge – get your sales team to take action.

In fact, turn it into a challenge making the invisible visible with a tracking board, tallying the number of calls and appointments set.

Here’s the Team Challenge:

  • Set a minimum number of old/lost customer call backs
  • Ask your sellers to call old customers and even extend it to contacts they haven’t spoken to within the last 2-5 years.
  • Begin with research – Linkedin® and a Google® search
  • Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Are the reasons they stopped being a customer relevant any longer?
  2. What value might you provide them today?
  3. What experiences have you had since you last spoke that would help now?
  4. What questions should you ask them?
  • Set the goal for each call. It will be different depending on what’s learned in the research.
  • Pick up the phone and call.

With good prep your reps will be pleasantly surprised at what may open up.

And even if nothing opens up (which rarely happens), at the very least, they’ll get some good vibes from the welcoming reception they’ll receive.

Looking for lost customers really works.

Last week we heard from a rep took this challenge. They reconnected with former customers and found that some of them have done NOTHING since their company worked with them. 

Those old customers didn’t leave them for someone else at all.

Now the rep re-opened the discussion and appointments are set to see how they can help this year.

Think about this – the sales cycle on this one may be shorter because they know the rep, the company and the rep knows a lot about them.

What’s your best approach to re-engage a lost customer?


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