You know that prospective client you speak with who sounds so excited about working with you?They ask all of the right questions and give all of the right answers, but just isn’t ready to commit right there during the discovery call?
As any savvy business owner would, you shoot off a quick email right after the call or first thing the next day, thanking them for their time, and telling them how much you enjoyed speaking with them.
And you wait. And you wait. And you wait.
But no response, so you follow up again a week later to confirm they received your email, but still no response. So you try again a week later and still no response. By then, your next thought is they’ve probably lost interest and you cross them off the list. No!
Don’t “assume” a prospective client isn’t interested if they don’t follow up or respond right away. They might have something going on in their lives or business you don’t know about!
We all want to speak with prospect clients who say “Yes, send me the agreement!” before we ever hang up the phone; but oftentimes, they simply aren’t ready to make a decision and may need to mull things over or discuss things with their spouse or business partner.
The question is, how many more times should we follow up before we cross them off of our list because we think they are no longer interested? Once? Twice? Three times? Where do we draw the line before our follow-up begins to border on stalking?Where do we draw the line before our follow-up begins to border on stalking?Click To Tweet
There is no definitive answer. Sometimes we know in our gut they have changed their mind or we aren’t a good fit. But other times, we still know in our heart of hearts there might be a chance. I’ve had prospective clients drop out of sight, only to reappear weeks, months, or even a year or more later, only to find out they were still very interested. They had been sick, traveling, or there were other personal and business matters that needed to take priority. Things I would never have known.
If I’ve learned anything lately, it’s been not to give up after following up with someone after a few tries. My business coach says to follow up, follow up, follow up … and then follow up again! Follow up by email, but also follow up by phone. As much as I don’t like to make phone calls, I’ve been doing it. If I get voice mail, I leave a message. And as much as I hate to admit it, it works. People get busy. People deal with health issues. People travel. There are many different reasons people may not respond to your email or return your calls; but being persistent with a good solid follow up practice works. To go a step farther, because I continue to touch base on a regular basis with prospective clients who have shown a genuine interest in working with me – yet have never gotten back with me after the initial consult, or even after I sent an agreement, they ended up signing on as clients! And … they said they were so happy I kept in touch, and shared a bit of what was going on in their lives that prevented them from moving forward.
So never “assume” a prospective client isn’t interested just because they aren’t responding to your follow up attempts. Follow up a few times and then back off for a month or so and follow up again. Then, if you still haven’t heard from them, put them on your calendar to touch base with them every few months or so. Maybe now simply isn’t the right time.
It never hurts to keep in touch, and you might catch them at “the right time,” at another time!
Also published on Medium.