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How To Follow-Up With A Potential Client When You’re Not Quite Ready To Give Up

Michelle Dale - Friday, June 01, 2012
When we are in pursuit of a client – and it’s not every time, but just sometimes, we come across a client we’re just itching to work with! In such a situation, it’s absolutely essential that at every stage the relationship develops we do a follow-up. This could be from when you first connect, after the consultation, after the proposal, after the invoice etc… If an expected response is not received at each hurdle, it can sometimes be concerning, because you’re left wondering what has gone wrong, and where did the breakdown of communication begin.

Rick Astley Didn't Want To Give Up Either... 

If you have recently followed up with a client, and things were going swimmingly well, you got along, or you agreed terms, or agreed to correspond, whatever it may be, but for some unknown reason after you send the follow-up you don’t receive a response, what do you do?..

Well on the one hand, you don’t want to send too many follow-ups, it’s really not cool, but on the other hand a majority of the time, the potential client may simply be too busy – it happens! After all they most likely engaged with you in the first place because they needed support of some kind with a busy business, which means they’re not sipping mojitos on a beach in Hawaii waiting for your email to come through so they can immediately reply.

So what do you do? Well, I believe one, perhaps 2 follow ups at most is enough, but if you don’t quite want to let go of that potential client, and you believe that it could just be a case of them being too busy to prioritise the next stage with you, you can offer a few gentle, subtle and in a word, “un-obvious” reminders.

I once knew a girl at school who was totally stuck on a boy, and she read in “Seventeen” magazine I think that if she left something around him with her scent, it would likely attract him back to her, without him knowing it, so she managed to spray one of his books with her perfume – I don’t know how that ended, but in some way it made sense. I am not suggesting you do anything remotely odd like that, but sometimes, we can encourage an action simply by reminding the potential client of our presence.

So when you have exhausted your follow-ups but you’re simply bursting to get that client, there are a few things you can do, until you decide enough is enough or, they actually do return to engage your services.

#1 Tweet Them.

Make sure you follow them on Twitter and occasionally retweet their posts or send them an @reply to wish them a great week, or ask if they had a good weekend. (Stagger them apart though, 10 times a day is a no-no).

#2 Share Them.

Share a couple of posts on Facebook or leave a few nice comments or likes.

#3 Double-Check With Them.

Connect with them on LinkedIn.

If they connect with you but don’t send a message, then you can send them a follow-up with a little note,  “Hi [Name], I haven’t heard from you regarding XYZ, here was my last email in case it didn’t reach you. Hope to hear from you soon!” That type of thing… It’s perfectly feasible to suggest the email may not have arrived, or went into their SPAM folder – it wouldn’t be the first time.

Most of the time we just want closure; we like to know where we stand so we can arrange ourselves accordingly for a new intake of a client, or not. If you feel like you have an amazing potential client on the horizon, it may be worth giving a few subtle hints and reminders if you don’t hear from them after your follow-up email. Put it this way – you have nothing to lose, and a client to gain – because believe me, they’ll be paying attention to anyone taking an active interest in their business, and one of the reasons you have not heard back could be because they are considering an alternative service provider, and if this is the case, you’re going to be at an advantage by going that little bit further.

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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