In article 1 We answered this question: How long must I wait for a potential client and how do I convert them to a client? This is the second part to that conversation where I was asked by Kathy Andrews, “How long after the initial contact and what kind of contact?”
I responded with some thoughts on contacting them and how to turn prospects into clients.
I always try to reconnect after the initial contact about a week later. No more than two weeks, because you want to get them while the getting is still hot. If I don’t hear back from them or don’t get any real response to their actual interest then I try to keep in touch about every two weeks. Just shoot them a message and say, ‘howdy’ ‘what’s up’ you know. I generally ask them how their summer is going or something like that and how they are doing? Depending on what I might already know personally about them like if they have kids or animals I might say how is so and so doing? Try to make it as personal as you can. I don’t ask them each time if they are ready to make a decision on working with me instead I focus on connecting with them. I don’t like pushy sales people types and I am not one of them. I believe in the value of the relationship and earning their trust is the most important thing at this point.
Something else to remember just because they do not respond to every single email you send them does not mean they have lost interest. They may just be busy or not really sure what to say to you. If after several attempts you feel it is futile and not going to happen you can back off a little, but I would still keep in touch monthly or even bi-monthly just so they remember who you are because when they are ready to make that decision you just might be at the top of their list.
As far contracts go once we are ready for that phase and giving deals and such. I have been just doing a typical contract right out of the gate, but I am finding people are hesitant to sign them and will back out. So I am trying a new strategy of having them sign a temporary contract for 40 hours in which they have to pay half the amount up front and when we reach our initial 20 hours they send me the other half. I also offer them a 15% discount for paying up front.
Retainers are great and the way to go if you can get them, and the way to entice them to it is I tell them they get a nice discount based on the amount of hours they pay for, and I tell them that all my retainer clients get priority. This seems to help. The verdict is still out on the temporary contract as I just started doing this with this latest client. He seemed to really like the idea. It’s a good way to give each of you an opportunity to work together and see if you work well together and either party can back out with no consequences at the end of the 40 hours. You can also do this by weeks or months if you want. I just decided to do it by 40 hours. Testing it out.
Then Kathy asked how does she personalize her communications with them if she does not know anything about them?
We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how long to wait after the initial contact to pursue a potential client. Please be sure to send us your comments by clicking on comments below, and please be sure to include the title of this article in your comments. Thanks, Rhonda