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Old prospects should never die

A recent visit with a small business owner ended up in conversation about all the prospects he had and was not able to close. I asked him for a list and found out that the only records available were in his old appointment calendars. Some of those prospects dated back over 7 years. His follow up method, after the initial presentation was a follow up call to ask if there was an interest in his services. Unfortunately he could not remember the names or what kind of a presentation was made.

I assigned a task, hopefully to be delegated to his assistant, of going through all the old appointment books and getting the names and addresses of all the past clients, older than one year. A few had some notes about the call and that information was added to a new data base.  This project took almost two week to complete and a total of 78 names and addresses were identified.

The next step was to create a “sorry letter”, similar to the one I recommend when contacting past customers ( that we have had no contact with in over a year). The letter was a generic one so that only the name and address would have to be changed. The points ( to be written in the sender’s own words) contained in the letter were as  follows:

  • An opening statement about being sorry for a lack of communications
  • Something new in the owners life
  • New happenings in the business: new services, new location, etc…
  • New benefits now available
  • An offer to receive newsletter, etc   on an ongoing basis
  • A commitment to improve communications

All letters were sent via snail mail and each received a follow up call from the business owner within a few days of receipt.  No sales pitch was made, just an invitation to receive pertinent information on a regular basis though the newsletter, blogs and websites.

The decision was made to send out 5 letters a week followed by the personal phone calls. The first three weeks resulted in one person becoming a client. My feeling is that as the project is completed there will be a few more immediate results and some more in the future.

Humility means knowing and using your strength for the benefit of others, on  behalf of a higher purpose.                                                                                            Alan Ross

Nick J. Petra       visit us at

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