In this series of lessons we are covering how to convert a pitch into a sale. One of the most common questions is about following up.
The first thing to do when chasing up a client is to add them into your customer relationship management system. This can be a piece of paper, an excel document. Usually I categorize client in 3 ways:
Suspects- this can be anyone whose taken interest or I’ve pitched to
Prospects- this is usually people who I’m in talks with or has come back to me on a pitch
Work- signed the contract
Coming on Strong
The issue is that you don’t want to come on too strong with a potential client. Clients want to work with successful people and there’s a clear line between accommodating and neediness. One of the big fears is of pestering a client, that they will perceive your emails as spam and that you will put them off together
The Pest Is Best
Let me make it clear though, it is very important to chase up a client. Don’t be afraid to send that email, to pick up that phone. The important thing is to try where possible to be the one who sets the appointment. Give the prospect a range of dates to choose from rather than having to chase them for the meeting.
Identifying, pitching and chasing clients is a massive part of any freelancers/entrepreneurs job that they simply don’t get paid for. In my last lesson series on pitching I told you how I would never spend more than an hour on a pitch. The same is true of chasing, have a cut off point in your head as to how much time you’ll be willing to chase a client.
Leading You On
You don’t want to put in the hours talking to a prospect only to get a no. People are naturally polite when dealing with people, they are almost afraid to give you a flat no, but one thing I used to do was specifically ask for it. I used to tell people if they weren’t interested just to tell me as it saved us all a lot more time then scheduling in another call or me chasing them and pretending they are in a meeting.