You’ve had great conversations, they are a great lead and it’s in the bag…..almost. Then the new client stalls and seems to disappear. How many times has it happened to you? This is the very moment when it’s tempting to give up, and also when it’s most important to be keeping in touch. So, here are five ideas to keep in touch, and keep them warm, until they are ready to buy.
Sometimes it seems that the client has gone from being the best thing, so something that’s not worth looking after – a bit like these phone boxes! Firstly why does the client stall when they were so ready to buy?
Why does the client stall?
In an ideal world you will meet a potential client and at the point when they will be ready to buy and know exactly the service that they need from you. Now back to reality! Most prospective clients you will meet are not ready to buy from you just yet. It may be that:
- the time isn’t right for them;
- they don’t yet have enough confidence in your capability to entrust you with some work;
- their budgetary timetable means they don’t yet have the money to spend with you. (This is particularly true when you are dealing with clients from the public sector in the UK.)
As a result, you need to be able to keep your name highly visible with your prospective client and maintain the relationship and trust until they are ready to buy.
5 ideas for keeping in touch
When you are keeping in touch with a potential client your aim is to be helpful but non-intrusive. Which of these five ideas would work best for you?
- regularly send them articles which they will find interesting;
- interact with them on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter;
- invite them to join you at events such as conferences or seminars;
- arrange regular catch-up conversations or meetings;
- send them (with their permission) the firm’s regular newsletter.
Many professionals leave the keeping in touch to chance, partly because this isn’t a chargeable activity! However, building your portfolio means you have to get better at winning work. The right processes and systems will help you keep in touch with potential clients, so you are there when they are ready to but.