Securing a meeting with a potential client is a major achievement, but once you’ve shaken hands, it doesn’t end there.
When conducting business, the follow-up is just as important as the meeting itself – while you may come away feeling pleased and positive about how everything went, you have no idea how your client may be feeling.
This doesn’t mean emailing or calling them within five minutes of saying goodbye to check – but a good follow up should include a number of things to highlight your professionalism and enthusiasm – and hopefully keep prospectives coming back time and time again.
Here are a few dos and don’ts for client follow ups.
1) Don’t – be pushy
There’s a very fine line between being enthusiastic and being overbearing. If after your meeting you’ve left your client feeling unsure about something you are offering, don’t force them into making a decision too soon. This will only put them off and likely lead to them turning down your business.
Bear in mind that being pushy and demanding also gives off an air of desperation – if you’re desperate for custom, your client will start to wonder why.
One way to ensure you don’t have this problem, is to set yourself up well for a follow up. Let your client know when you plan to contact them again before the end of your meeting, this way they will know that you plan a follow up.
2) Don’t – leave it too long
In the same way that contacting a client too soon after an initial meeting is a no-no, leaving it too long isn’t a good idea either. Waiting one day is fine, but dragging out your follow up for an entire week is going a bit too far.
3) Do – provide a refresher
If you plan to send a follow up email, note the key points that were discussed in your meeting. This will help to speed up the process as your prospective client won’t have to wait until a free moment comes up to go back over their notes or try to recall everything you spoke about.
This should act like the minutes of the meeting, with a note about the action proposed under each point in the agenda.
4) Do – initiate a follow up call
One of the best ways to communicate with prospective clients after a meeting is via conference call, as this allows a number of people to participate at the same time. That way the relevant person can be present to answer any specific questions your clients has raised either beforehand or during the call itself.
A follow up via conference call is more useful than an email, as it allows both parties to easily discuss matters in greater detail, while also providing instant results.
Many firms offer free teleconference calls, such as Buzz Conferencing - which provides an easy to use service, with the option to make international calls for companies that operate on a multinational level.
5) Do – prepare questions
Before your follow up conference call or correspondence, take the time to sit down and prepare some questions you would like to ask your client.
It’s likely they will have some questions for you too, so try to envisage what these may be so you have some rough answers prepared. However, it’s okay to let them know you will get back to them if there is anything you are unsure of.