You guys, it is not the client’s job to get back to you right away.
It is not the client’s job to dump all of their priorities that they had lined up before you hit their inbox – before they even knew you existed! – to move things down the path on your schedule.
It is YOUR job to make sure things move forward. But it’s a fine line to walk between being persistent and diligently following up and being desperate to corral a client in for your own agenda.
Believe me when I say they notice. They always notice when you connect on a Monday and then Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, you’re following up just trying to push them along. This never works.
Why Pushing Your Agenda Won’t Work
- It seems like you have NOTHING else going on.
- A week may feel SO long when you really need the client, but you’ve GOT to get yourself out of the headspace that you NEED this client, that it’s about YOU, and that it’s about the MONEY. You can’t think about yourself the whole time. This WILL make a client back off.
If you follow up once a week, that’s fantastic. It’s not desperate. You can follow up for MONTHS. You can follow up for YEARS if you want. But make sure you’re doing it in a way that promotes urgency on THEIR end, not because you need to move the project forward.
Again, they don’t owe it to you. They don’t have to pick up the phone. They don’t have to talk to you. There’s no reason they have to jump through fiery hoops to get paperwork signed by Friday so you can tick the box off on your income goals.
Courting Clients Takes Time
It is ORDINARY, expected, and ok that it takes a little time to court a client.
We are not dealing with $50 blog posts on Upwork. We’re not dealing cheap ass clients. If you pitch and do your research, you’ll go with people who actually have the budget to pay you. You’ll go after quality companies, business owners, and corporations that have the money – and also have a lot going on.
Many of you think it’ll take one week or one touch point, and that’s just not how this rolls.
The 20 things on your list are NOT THEIR PROBLEM.
You NEED to know better and get realistic about what it takes. You’re dealing with high-end companies and are relationship building at the same time. They’re getting to know you through how you follow up with them! Your onboarding process begins BEFORE they sign the contract. Don’t let them think you’re just desperate to get them on board.
Some of my best clients took months to court and others were signed, sealed, and delivered in a week or two. The truth is, companies usually take longer – they’re busy.
Don’t give up if you don’t hear back immediately.
Your job is to keep following up and make the potential client feel good and supported in their decision about moving forward with you!
Ways To Move The Follow Up Process Along Faster
There ARE ways to move your follow up process along a little faster:
- You can inspire a little FOMO (fear of missing out)
- You can give value
- You can create urgency by making them feel like they’re missing out and showing them in dollar and cents what they’re missing out on
You can do ALL of those things without being desperate. And then when you do, MOVE ON to the next company!
When I first started, if I felt myself getting antsy and wanting to close a client, I’d realize that I had taken my focus off the client and what’s best for them and put it all on me. High-end clients aren’t just gonna come sit in your lap ‘cause you blow ‘em a kiss.
Instead of going down the whoa-is-me trail, connect with 10 more CEOs.
Keep Your Head Down and PITCH
At the end of the day, the panic that rises when you feel like you just need to get something locked down is because you don’t feel like you have enough going on. THIS is where it goes back to you making sure you have a pipeline that’s filled.
If you feel this way because you don’t have any clients or money coming in, or you’ve got three leads and think that if they don’t work out, you don’t have anything, fill that pipeline and PITCH!
I see a lot of people interpret filling the pipeline with going hog wild. They send as many pitches or cryptic messages on LinkedIn as possible and nothing comes from it – because that’s sporadic and a little bit crazy.
The bottom line is this: you have to fill your pipeline with QUALIFIED leads and buyers.
Qualify Your Leads
Take a step back and ask yourself what the qualifications are to be in your pipeline.
If you don’t, you’ll have a pipeline – or a half-assed pipeline if you’re not pitching – of people who can’t buy from you. And then all the energy you HAVE put into building your pipeline has been a waste of time because they can’t buy from you.
If you make offers to people who can’t pay you, you get discouraged and then stop making offers. It’s a vicious cycle. I PROMISE you the world is not broke. The people you’re talking to are. There are TONS of businesses and companies that have the money to pay you.
So let me ask you, do you qualify your leads? Do you qualify your buyers?
If not, THIS is the fatal flaw that you HAVE to stop. Otherwise, it doesn’t work.
Remember, high quality clients will take more than a coffee date and, “Hey boo, I want to work with you.” This is NOT Tinder, guys! These are high class clients. You’re going to have to put a little muscle into it.
The reward is that you get someone who can pay your rates that you end up working with for the next 3-4 years.
The idea is that once you get your retainer, you make yourself INDISPENSABLE. In theory, your craft IS replaceable, but there’s only ONE of you that brings a certain something to a project.
The idea is to get in with qualified leads, turn them into long-standing retainers, and in that first phase of the contract, make YOURSELF indispensable. From there, the craft almost becomes secondary and THAT’S how you end up with retainers that last for years.
If you need help learning to pitch or need accountability to keep your head down and pitch like a boss in order to fill that pipeline with qualified leads, come hang out with us over at The Academy. We’ll teach you everything we know (literally!) that’s worked for us and has made us a shit ton of money and helped countless clients over the years.
You’ve GOT this, Sixer. We’re here to make sure of it!