Most business owners excel at pitching their goods or services to prospective clients, once.
But, if that prospective client doesn’t immediately shout a hearty YES from the rooftops, they walk away, head hung low, and the prospective client never hears from them again.
There is a never-ending list of excuses entrepreneurs play through their minds. Do any of these sound familiar?
“If they wanted to work with me they would have said yes right then.”
“I don’t want to pester anyone.”
“I don’t want to be one of those pushy sales people.”
“I’m afraid they will leave my list if I continue to contact them.”
“I’m no good at this stuff.”
“I wish I didn’t have to do this part. I just want to _______ and let someone else handle everything else.”
Yep. And there are a whole lot more where those came from. That list goes on and on and on.
But it’s true, I hear you saying.
Okay. That may be.
So let’s reframe how you feel about this idea of following up, shall we?
First. Don’t make it about you. It’s not about you. It’s about helping them, and if you don’t make it easy for them to remember you, then you’re truly doing your prospective client a disservice.
Second. You’re not trying to get something from them. You are offering solutions they don’t have, to problems they wish would go away.
Third. If someone doesn’t want to hear from you, they’ll tell you. In fact, invite them to tell you if they don’t want to hear from you further. In the vast majority of cases, if you are communicating with respect, they won’t tell you to stop because they like what they hear, are waiting for a better time, and want to keep you in their circle of influence.
How does that reframe feel? Better, yes?
No does not mean no. It means no for now. Just for now.
However, when you disappear, someone else will stick around. They’ll be following up.
And guess what? When it’s time for your ideal potential client to say ‘sign me up!’ to put pen to paper, to swipe that card, they’re going to pick the path of least resistance and choose the business that stayed top of mind.
You want that to be you, don’t you?
Of course you do.
Here are some tips for how to stay in touch without acting like the crazy aunt that no one wants to invite to Thanksgiving Dinner or the guest who won’t leave the party despite all the not-so-subtle hints you can muster:
- Ask if they’d like to be added to your newsletter (if they’re not already signed up). Your ezine is a perfect opportunity to position yourself as a master of solutions and provider of value.
- If you know them pretty well, send helpful links to articles, videos, and resources that will create more ease in their lives.
- Make introductions. Would their service be perfect for someone you know, or vice versa?
- Stay connected via social media. I’m not saying stalk, but the occasional Facebook comment or retweet is a good way to let them know you care and are paying attention.
- Send them a card. An actual card. What? Mail!? In today’s cyber fueled world, physical mail is like gold. There’s no better way to stand out than sending a creative card. Ask them for their preferred mailing address so you can stay in touch. Then use it – with discretion.
You have a myriad of options for staying in touch – oops, I mean for following up. (Get my drift?) Use your creative mind and be sure to file reminders in your CRM or your calendar about future follow ups. Time flies, and it’s easy to forget.
I should mention though, the point of all these follow-ups is to be helpful and present, not to pitch your services over and over again. Just stick around so you’re there when they need you.
And always remember it’s not about you. It’s not for you.
It’s for them.
In fact, the focus of everything we do in our business should be them – the people we are passionate about serving.