You do the work and generate a warm hot lead. It was all going so well until the client stalled. In this blog post I share an exclusive extract from the 2nd edition of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’ (Click here for a free sample chapter) and detail why your clients may stall in the buying process and how to stay in touch with them until they are ready to buy. In an ideal world you will meet a potential client and at the point when they will be ready to buy and know exactly the service that they need from you. Now back to reality! Most prospective clients you will meet are not ready to buy from you just yet. It may be that:
- the time isn’t right for them;
- they don’t yet have enough confidence in your capability to entrust you with some work;
- their budgetary timetable means they don’t yet have the money to spend with you. (This is particularly true when you are dealing with clients from the public sector in the UK.)
As a result, you need to be able to keep your name highly visible with your prospective client and maintain the relationship and trust until they are ready to buy. When you are keeping in touch with a potential client your aim is to be helpful but non-intrusive. For example you could:
- regularly send them articles which they will find interesting;
- interact with them on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter;
- invite them to join you at events such as conferences or seminars;
- arrange regular catch-up conversations or meetings;
- send them (with their permission) the firm’s regular newsletter.
Many professionals leave the keeping in touch to chance, partly because this isn’t a chargeable activity! However, if you are going to successfully build your own portfolio, then you will improve your ability to win work considerably by having processes and systems to enable you to maintain a good level of contact with potential clients.