My client made a very successful presentation at a seminar. As always with these things, lots of people came up to talk to her afterwards. In fact, there was someone who was in a position to give her real work and who was really interested in her work and methodology. Is this a lead? No. Is this a prospect? Yes. So, what do you need to do next to convert this prospect into a client? This is a challenge which perplexes many accountants, lawyers, consultants etc. Do you go in and sell hard? Or play the softer waiting game until they are ready to buy from you? Decisions, decisions . . .

What really makes a ‘lead’

Just because someone is interested in your services and is making all the right noises doesn’t make them a lead. But it does mean that there is a strong possibility that they may become a lead and client in the future. If they are a lead they will be actively inviting you to have a further conversation about how they can use your services. Whereas, all you know at the moment is they are not yet ready to buy from you. Sadly, far too many professionals, at this stage of the sales process, go in too hard on the sales speak and can often frighten potential clients away.

If they are a lead they will be actively inviting you to have a further conversation about how they can use your services.

So, the ever present problem of how to turn them into a pre-qualified lead, without scaring them away is still to be solved.

It’s all about having reliable keeping-in-touch processes and systems

This is where your ‘keeping in touch’ processes and systems need to kick in. Your aim now is to build up the relationship and mutual trust between the two of you, so that when they ARE ready to buy they give you a call first. Keeping in touch processes could include:

  • Connecting with them on LinkedIn and Twitter and regularly chatting to them through these media.
  • Sending them regular articles of interest to them – particularly if you or someone in your firm has written them.
  • Getting their permission to add them to your mailing list for your department or firm’s regular newsletter.
  • Getting a date in the diary for a phone call or face-to-face meeting to get to know them and their business better.
  • Sending them a handwritten card saying how much you enjoyed meeting them.
  • Inviting them to accompany you to an event or seminar which they will be interested in.

How do you convert your prospects into pre-qualified leads? Read more: How should I follow-up without seeming pushy? How do I follow-up without p*ssing off my potential client?

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