Your first win is both a lot smaller, and a lot more important, than you ever imagined:
It’s a conversation. (And no coffee required, especially these days. But when Pumpkin Spice Latte appears, remember, it’s not just a beverage. It’s your signal that it’s time for conversations!)
Most of us have a couple dozen people at most who are our “A-List” people. They pay you on time. They come back for more. They send their friends. They know when your birthday is.
First, because all these people who’ve been busy, busy, busy, since July… now have time to talk to you.
“Oh, but they’re not spending right now!”
Ah, yes. Actually, that’s why they’ll talk to you, and why October and November are the perfect time to call.
Because someone who has already done business with you is TWELVE TIMES more likely to buy from you than someone who’s never met you.
About which more later.
Meantime, I hear you! “Oh no! What do I say?”
Think a moment about them. You KNOW THEM. PERSONALLY.
What was going on with them last time you talked?
What could be going on for them right now? How might the upcoming election affect their office and programs in any way? Would they be anxious, or unconcerned, about potential changes? Are they in a new job or position? Planning for retirement? Looking for a change or a move? Are they in line for a promotion? Where are they hoping to be this time next year? How could you help them get there?
These are big picture questions. And you can ask those questions because you’re starting with people you know.
Now, what or who do you know that might be helpful for what’s next for them? For what might be on their mind right now?
How are they and their family DOING? How will they tackle the holiday season this year? What have YOU learned about ways to make celebrations and gatherings special even when people can’t be together?
Say thank you to them for the ways they’ve helped you with guidance, feedback, information, over the past year.
How did FY20 finish out for them?
Ease into what are they hoping for in the new fiscal year that just started, or for 2021 as a whole?
This is a really rich part of the conversation. Those hopes, dreams, and fears are where their “wish list” for the end of 2021 gets started.
How is pandemic affecting their planning for the new fiscal year?
And… find out whether they might be interested in one or two of those specific resources you’ve brainstormed, and what might be the best way to share that info with them.
If you don’t reach them on the first try, DO leave a cheerful voicemail to wish them “Happy Federal fiscal new year!” You’ll make them smile. Let them know you’d love to catch up for ten minutes, hear how they’re doing, and let them know what day and time you’ll call back.
And… Call back when you said you promised you would.