Every marketing team will eventually meet with this dilemma: After identifying and researching a prospective client and making an impressive presentation, they find themselves faced with the question, "Now what?"
(article continues below)
After the initial pitch, is it better to continue to pursue the prospective clients and risk of alienating them, or is it best to be patient and wait for the clients to make the next move? The answer to the question is neither. Here are four effective ways to follow up without appearing too desperate or too aloof.
Set Specific Dates for Follow-Ups
Throughout your initial meeting, keep an eye on the time, and when things feel as if they are about to wind up, take the last few minutes to set a specific date and time for the first follow-up call. Don't let the meeting end with the vague assumption that the client will get in touch with you at some point in the near future. Make it definite by saying, "I'll call you on Friday." or "Let's touch bases on the first of the month." And then get out your day planner and make a note of it. Also be sure to let the client know that if there are any questions in the interim, don't hesitate to call you.
Use Loose Ends to Your Advantage
While the initial meeting is in progress, make note of any unanswered questions or uncertain issues. Whether it's a question the client asked that you didn't have a handy answer for, or you asked the client something that was left unanswered, use it as a natural segue for a follow-up call. Let the client know that you'll be calling with an answer in the next day or so. And then do it! Call back with a definitive and thorough response to any unresolved questions or issues. This lets the client know that you are listening, that are sensitive to his or her needs, and that you are ready to take action. This way, when you make that first follow-up call, you don't seem desperate and insecure: "Did I get the job? Did I get the job? Did I get the job?"
Create a Client Web Page
After the initial meeting, create a web page for your clients with an unlinked/unpublished URL that only they can access. Send the link by e-mail so that the client can view it. Customize the page with information that is pertinent and specific to the client's business. Be sure to include testimonials from previous clients, and photo examples of work you've done that reflects the client's similar needs and interests.
Act As If and Make It So
When the initial meeting concludes, proceed as if you've gotten the bid. Keep a positive outlook, and hold strong to the confidence that you're the right choice for the job. Use these follow-up strategies, and make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to make it so.