Many of us worry about whether we are “pestering” our prospects and clients. They agree to a follow-up conversation but when should we call? And how often? Two recent events provided me with answers to these questions and they may eliminate these concerns for you forever.
- Working with a very successful, multi-franchise-owning entrepreneur, we spent a few moments talking about our busy lives. In addition to managing staff and clients, she is a mom to three active children … and made me feel lazy! She shared a story about receiving a quote on landscaping for her home. She made the time to walk the property with the company’s owner and describe her wishes and expectations. The landscaper agreed to do up a quote and drop it off by the end of the week … which they did. And then … she never heard from them again. “This doesn’t work for me,” she said. “I indicated my interest and now, if they want the business, it’s up to them to make the next conversation happen. I’m way too busy to chase them.” She added that the lack of follow-up made her doubt that they’d be reliable in terms of getting the work completed.
- In my own world, my husband and I have been involved with a local organization that oversees drug trials for Alzheimer’s (my husband received his official diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer’s two years ago). The support we receive through this organization has been invaluable to us and while David can’t participate in a trial at the moment, we do want to be kept informed. It’s important to David to contribute to possibly solving the mysteries of this disease. In my most recent conversation with the coordinator, she became very uncomfortable about organizing our next conversation in two months time. “But I don’t want to pester you,” she said more than once. Yet it is so important that she continues to follow up with me. My life is quite chaotic, and while I’m hoping this shifts at some point, I don’t see it happening in the near future. If the coordinator leaves it with me to follow up with her … we may not connect for six months or more. She’s on my list and in my calendar … but priorities change often and quickly. “Please,” I said to her, “do follow up with me. You are not a pest, you’re an important support and your reminder is essential.”
A “pest” is someone who irritates us. When you are following up with someone who’s expressed interest in your work, you are not irritating them, you are helping them remember and making it easier for them to say “yes” when they are ready. You are proving that you want their business, that you are reliable and … that you make things happen!
Is there a prospect or client you should have called ages ago but somehow let it slide? It’s important that you still follow through. Here’s some advice on how to make that happen: http://thephonelady.com/the-forgotten-follow-up-part-four/