When you’re courting a new client, responding to inquiries and making new connections, taking the time to follow up and make another contact with the other party can often be the deciding factor in landing a new project or missing it entirely. Reaching out can push the arrow in your favor, especially when a client is hesitant to make a decision or if they are considering several people for the opportunity.
Following up doesn’t make you pushy or annoying if you are proposing to help solve a problem for the client, and they have expressed interest in what you’re offering. In fact, it’s a vital part of sales.
When you follow up, you are telling the client that:
- You are thinking about them.
- Their work and their needs are important to you.
- You are persistent and dedicated.
- You are ready to work with them and take on their challenges.
- Their project is a priority for you.
- You are consistent and reliable.
Following up is a good way to remind the client that you are there and encourage them to act. It also provides an opportunity to begin to form an authentic and friendly relationship with the client, which can also help to generate a decision in your favor.
There are a lot of ways you can follow up with potential clients, and you don’t always have to use the same method.
Send Them What They Need
The most obvious way to follow up with a potential client is by getting back in touch with them to provide information. If they asked for references, a portfolio or a formal proposal when you spoke, send it to them as soon as possible.
You can never go wrong by thanking the other party for their time. By sending a thank you e-mail after your initial meeting, you can also provide an overview of the highlights of your meeting, outline the next steps, and schedule a time to have another meeting.
Ask for More Information
After your meeting, take time to review the call and develop a list of questions for the client about the project, the timeline and their specific needs. This can be a part of your thank you message, or sent separately as another method of outreach.
Make a Personal Call
After a few days go by, consider calling the client directly to see if they have questions or would like you to provide additional information. You should also keep the personal call option in your follow-up toolbox in cases where you and the client are having a lot of back and forth via e-mail.
Send Them Something Unrelated
If you come across an article or blog post about something that is relevant to your client, send it along. Even if it doesn’t directly support you or why they should hire you, it will show them you understand their business. This can be invaluable for a potential client to see.
How do you follow up with potential clients? What method works best for you?
Image credit: Craig Jewell
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