Crappy salespeople believe that calling once will do the trick. Mediocre salespeople believe that staying in touch should be enough. Top salespeople know that the only way to eventually bring the deal to fruition is by continually demonstrating relevancy to prospects.  Whether your selling cycle is tremendously long or relatively short,  keeping your pipeline engaged is crucial. Here are 4 ways to reach out with purpose. 

1. Include specific things about her business in your initial contact. No prospect wants to feel like 1 of the 100 people you reached out to today. Taking the time to include something you noted about your prospect's business goes a long way in letting her know you are talking to her and not just to the crowd.  For example, a web developer got my attention when he sent me information noting that the B2B jewelry business was growing, and that he had a list of several keywords that were getting good results on Google,  but which I was not currently using on my site. 

2. Offer meaningful insight. People are buried under emails these days, most of which are asking for something from the recipient. Be generous and relevant instead. I would love it if someone sent me a selection of must-read articles on things happening in my industry, because even though I try to keep up with what's happening, there is so much I miss.  When I want to keep a client interested, I will often send a thoughtful article about a shift in her industry--even if it has nothing to do with my product. This lets her know I truly have her best interest at heart--and not just the sale I want to make. 

3. Call.  Everyone has gotten caught up in the idea that email trumps all because it seems less invasive (and is easier to hide behind), but email is not a conversation--it's closer to a pitch. We write something and sail into cyberspace, and hope we have struck the right chord. A good old-fashioned call is powerful because it allows dialogue.  When I pick up the phone, I can learn about what is worrying my customer, what might help her, and what she hopes I can do for her.  And a great secondary benefit is that it reminds the prospect that she is dealing with a real person who deserves a response!

4. Set up an introduction to someone who might be helpful to the prospect in a way that does not compete with your company. Sometimes, a conversation with a customer clues me in to other challenges my customer is facing. They may have nothing to do with how I can help, but they are taking up my customer's mental space, and thus, blocking her ability to consider my product.  If I can make an introduction to a person or product that can help her resolve the issue, I can clear the way for her to focus fully on our business together. 

Those "Hi, Just checking in" outreaches are nothing but fluff. And like used Kleenex, they get discarded without a moment's regret. Think of contacting your prospect as a way to not just remain on the radar, but to remain relevant.