Imagine that you have been assigned to a special project that will take you away from your office for six weeks. You’re not going to be able to make any face-to- face calls on current customers or prospects or COIs during that time. What can you do to stay top of mind with your best clients? How can you keep momentum with your prospects?

Assume that you do have time to alert all your key contacts that you’ll be gone for six weeks.  You will also be able to craft an out-of-office message that is both informative and worded in such a way that your customers and prospects know how to reach you in the event of a real emergency. (That’s why we have cell phones, right?)

Here are some things to consider:

1.) Encourage your colleagues to stay in contact with your best customers and prospects. Provide them with a scripted message that they can deliver by phone or email within 2 weeks of your departure. Where appropriate, ask them to make face to face calls on selected clients.

2.) Arrange to send something yourself–it could be a personalized note or an article that you thought might be of general interest. Email works, but be sure it includes a personal salutation. The important thing is that they know that you’re thinking about them.

3.) If you can’t find the time during your project to call them on the phone, you still might
be able to leave a voicemail message for some of your key contacts. This could be a personal
message or a generic voicemail blast message that again reiterates your interest in staying in touch. (If you go the latter route, make sure your call goes through far enough after normal business hours that there’s no likelihood of anyone picking it up. I have made that mistake before!)

4.) When you are within about two weeks of your return to the office, figure out a way through a phone call from one of your associates or through a specific email to set up appointments with your top clients to catch up on what you’ve missed during your absence. Once you’ve accomplished that, do the same thing with your key prospects. This is one of the most important things you can do as you plan your strategy.

5.) Plan on getting out to as many high-impact networking events as you can when you return to the office. If a lot of your clients are going to be there, don’t pass up the chance to connect. A quick conversation can go a long way.

Planning how to stay top of mind during a prolonged absence is critical. If you map out a process of touches and then schedule appointments on your return, you shouldn’t lose too much ground with your key relationship contacts.

What do you think? Anything else you’d do? Share your comments in the box below or send them to nmiller@mzbierlyconsulting.com

Budgeting for 2017? Here are three things you might consider: 

* 1 on 1 coaching for your sales leaders

* Sales refreshers on prospecting

* Subscribing to our recorded webinar series on business development

For more details contact Susan Lersch at 610-296-4773 or by email at Susan.Lersch@mzbierlyconsulting.com