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Former Customer Cadence: Re-engage With Churned Customers

Why would you get in touch with a former customer?

It wasn’t working out; surely you want to move past the heartbreak?

The truth is, it’s not that hard to reignite their interest. You just need a cadence that meets their needs.

Madison Yuille, Sales Development Representative at Cognism, told us:

“You need to find a way to pique their interest. You should be describing what’s been introduced since. Highlighting this is what gets them in.”

Scroll 👇 to get an overview of our former customer cadence and templates for the individual steps.

Former customer cadence timeline

Each step of the cadence is outlined below 👇

Former customer cadence timeline

Day 1 - Send connection request, phone call and email

Hi (first_name), 

We haven’t spoken before, but I know you may have had experience using our platform in the past at your last company. 

Looking back, I know that Cognism was used for (Look at use case of old and add something here about how we can add value at new company)

I was curious to know if you found success from using Cognism and whether it would be worth opening up a conversation about the various changes we’ve made?

On day one we have the triple touch - LinkedIn connection, cold call and email. This maximises visibility as well as the odds of a response.

Is contacting a former customer more effective than cold outreach?


There’s a proven product-market fit; you know they get value from the tool. The issue is they felt the competitor had the edge.

Madison explained:

“With cold outreach, you don’t know if there’s a use case or budget until you speak to them. With a former customer, you know they have the budget, use case and the requirements to sign.” 

“The only thing you can do to get them to hop on board again is to show them it’s better than when they last used it.”

The key here is to dive into the reason they stopped using it. Then you can describe what’s changed, the issue they once had probably isn’t a problem anymore.

Day 4 - Phone call

How should you open a cold call?

There are a couple of different routes you can go down, depending on the circumstances.

Madison gave us an example for when the prospect has used Cognism before:

“Hi (name), it's Madison from Cognism. I know we haven't spoken before, but I know you're already familiar with Cognism.”

The intention here is to understand where they are with their current provider. 

They might explain what they’re using and why they didn’t choose you. Even if the timing is off and their contract ends next quarter, it’s not over. 

Madison told us:

“I tell them I'd be happy to pop on a Zoom call to highlight some of the changes, compare them with your current provider, then continue the conversation next quarter.” 

“That gets them on the demo, regardless of if it's the right time or not.”

You can also go after people who moved to the company recently, for example, a new sales director or SDR manager. Someone who wasn’t there when they used the product.

In this scenario, you can cold pitch because you already know they have a use case. You don’t necessarily need to mention that they used the product in the past. They’re not going to know that!

Madison explained:

“It would be pretty easy to get them on because they have the use case. You know they’re using a competitor and maybe they’ve never heard of you before."

"The pains of their current provider will be top of mind because it’s the only one they’ve been using. You can dive into the pains of their current provider and explain how you plug those gaps.”

Day 6 - Phone call and email

Hey (first_name), 

Any more thoughts on the above?

Would happily put your team on a trial to help with proof of concept.


Why offer your former customer a trial membership?

It’s an opportunity to test out the changes that have been put in place since last time. It means that the customer will be able to see the changes for themself.

Day 8 - Phone Call

What if the timing is off and they’re already in another contract?

Sometimes, this comes down to luck. But if you encounter this, don’t let it stop you; the most important thing is to keep having conversations.

Madison told us:

“You just have to keep calling people and get as many people in conversations as possible because you don't know when people's contracts end.” 

“If they're going through a renewal period next week, and you call them this week, then that's perfect timing. But you're not going to know unless you speak to them.”

Day 10 - LinkedIn message

Hi (first_name), 

Not sure if you’ve managed to catch my emails but I wanted to see if now is a better time to reconnect? 

Since our last conversation, Devo reviewed Cognism against ZoomInfo, LeadIQ and Lusha finding we came out on top for global coverage, compliance and quality. They also got ROI within two days.

Worth another call?

In B2B sales, it’s a good idea to lean into case studies. 

They validate your positioning and provide clear insights. They easily show others how your product beats the competition.

Top tip:

Draw up a library of case studies you can use in your former customer cadences. Make sure they match the prospect you're talking with - the same industry or client base, for example.

Day 12 - Phone call

Here’s something you might not have considered.

There’s another way to leverage your CRM.

Often you’re able to see what competitors you’re up against. 

This can become a talking point on the call. You can highlight the differences, using that as a springboard for the pains they’re experiencing right now.

A competitor document or one-pager can also be helpful here. Developing excellent competitor knowledge is part of crushing it as an outbound sales rep.

Day 13 - Email

Hi (first_name),

I wanted to show you a new feature of Cognism that might be relevant to you and most importantly of all put a face to a name!

(Add Vidyard here)

Why focus on new features?

It’s all about capturing interest. Your former customer might be interested to see the in-platform changes since they broke up with you.

And speaking of showing them, video can be a real B2B prospecting game changer.

Why write a long email explaining your product's features, when you can film a quick Vidyard demonstrating the features in real time?

Day 15 - Phone call

Top sales leaders Ryan Reisert and Justin Middleton make live cold calls and share their insights - press ▶️ to listen to Cognism's Cold Calling Live podcast!

Day 17 - Email

Hey (first_name),

Following up from my video in the last email, I wanted to provide a bit more info around our Diamond Data functionality:

We're the only provider that phone verifies and validates our database, providing the purest, cleanest and most accurate contacts for your team to engage with. 

These contacts have 99% accuracy with the name associated with it. Work smarter, not harder- you don't want your team working numbers that aren't valid. 

Don’t believe me? Give me a name and I will find you a number!

Again, here the focus is on distinguishing product features. Sometimes you just need to hammer home the point. 

But there’s a reason for it, for a former customer, this brings the product to life again.

Day 19 - Email

Hi (first_name),

Seems like now maybe isn't the best time to catch up, I have put a note to reach out again in a few months. 

If anything changes at your end or you find time for a free trial, do drop me a line :) 

Our former customer cadence is relatively short. Why?

With a cold company, for someone that hasn’t used the product before, persistence is key. It's about grabbing their attention early and keeping it.

With former customers, they're already interested in the product you sell. They’ve seen the company before.

You want to pique their interest all over again, preferably by showing them some new things. 

But what if they're really not interested? 

Madison said:

“If they haven’t followed up by now, you should accept the timing’s off. A smart move is to set a salesforce task to follow up in three months’ time.”

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