There are people who are on the fringe of your business, people who are acquaintances, those who are prospective clients, clients and associates, and if you think of these categorically as concentric circles of, at the center are your lifelong clients and friends. The goal would be to continually invite people into the next level of your business relationship.
To do this you must be available. Create a method of communication which may be accessed anytime your prospective client might need to get ahold of you. This is fairly easy to manage in this digital age, and/or with a virtual assistant.
You don’t necessarily have to be available 24/7 but your communication method does need to be available, so at least they can send you an email, text, or leave a voicemail.
In order for this to have any hope or working, you do need to reply as soon as possible. The highest success rates for converting prospects to clients comes from live interaction in the moment of contact. If this is not part of your marketing paradigm then make sure your people know that if they leave a message you will get back to them as soon as you can and do it, remembering that the longer it takes you to return the call, the more likely that your prospect will go elsewhere.
Before you meet with a prospective client, acquaint yourself with his or her business, and personality, so that you can have some idea about how to best communicate, relate, and help them. Fortunately, this is much easier in this day and age due to most everyone having a web presence and social media activity.
When you meet with a prospective client be sure to show them your best stuff. Leave them with something of value, a tip, secret, tool, technique, something that builds their confidence in your ability to be their go-to man or woman. You have skills, skills that they need. Make it easy for him or her to think of you in their hour of need.
Adjust your business model to not be a one-shot deal with your clients, building long-term business relationships over time, with regular consistency reduces your marketing expenses and increases your profitability over time. Make your business model all about repeat business, ‘ere the importance of keeping the door open over time.
Let them know that you will be contacting them in the future and make sure that you follow up. Remain in your prospect’s conscious awareness. People are different and prefer to be contacted in different ways. Try to reach out live and in person. If your potential client is unresponsive, find better ways to keep the lines of communication open, such as texts, emails, message chats, etc.
Out of sight, equates to out of mind, and if you’re not reaching out to your clients, they are unlikely to reach out to you in their hour of need,
Once you’ve met with your client or prospective client, you want to leave the meeting in such a way to be open and inviting to avail yourself to continue to do business or build a relationship with your people.
Following your meeting, recap what you have discussed. This lets them know you’ve been attentive and care about their needs or concerns, and this review can also achieve a greater degree of clarity, as they refine their assertions, or clear up any misunderstanding you may have had during the meeting.
A follow-up email is an excellent way to document the meeting and create a hard copy of the meeting which can easily be accessed by either of you in the future.