So you’ve beaten your first client consultation nerves and made it through to the other side of that initial call, what happens next?
If you weren’t able to get them to agree to an initial trial period right away, it’s time to act upon your promises on that call.
This is where a follow-up email comes into play.
And as much as you might think you don’t need any reminders on what it should include, it’s amazing how often it’s not utilised to its fullest potential.
So here’s what to include, as a minimum …
1. Give thanks
A simple opening that can be all too easily overlooked.
Always, always, always start with your appreciation … even if you know you’ll be the best thing that’s happened to their business in a long time!
So a straightforward “Thank you for your time on the call earlier today. I appreciate how busy you are, but hope that those 30 minutes showed you how I can help support your business to continue to grow and flourish.“
2. What you will do for them
Think about the fact that the crux of the client consultation would have been ‘all about them’.
Of course you’ll have sold yourself, your expertise and your services. But ultimately, the bulk of the discussion would have been directed toward that potential client.
So keep your follow-up email the same.
Outline what you understood to be their biggest support-needs. This displays your listening and comprehension skills.
Then, alongside each of their support needs, explain your experience in this area.
If you’re not experienced in it, that’s okay. Don’t pretend you are – that could get you into all sorts of problems later down the line.
Instead, start with those that you do have experience of. Then when it comes to any you’re less skilled at, use your ingenuity to explain how your learning will not affect their business – you’ll learn on your own time, you have an Associate who is experienced in that particularly type of task, you have a mentor / trainer who can assist at no extra cost to them, etc.
3. Outline what you see to be the next step
This is perhaps the most ‘salesy’ part of your follow-up email – although I hate calling it that. You don’t have to be ‘salesy’ to have a good pitch.
The best thing to do if you’re not, is keep your own personality. Write as you would speak.
For example, I’m relatively informal when it comes to working with clients and I’m straight to the point.
So if this were my follow-up email, I’d say something along the lines of …
“Here’s what I suggest as the next step, so you get a chance to see how your business would benefit from my expertise, and to ensure we work well together.
Let’s agree a trial period or trial task.
Often new clients like to agree to a one-month trial period, as that tends to give us both enough time to be able to make an informed decision.
And looking through the list we compiled together during the call, I could do [x, y & z] by [date].
How does that sound?”
Something completely different could work for you. The point is, to find your own voice and make your pitch.
4. Check up on other queries
These next two points form part of your close.
First, check with them you haven’t overlooked anything or misinterpreted their requirements … by asking them.
Then ask if there’s anything else they’ve thought of since the call – something they forgot to ask you, an additional support requirement they have that they’re not sure you would be able to do, etc.
And remember, sometimes your prospective client will also be nervous on the call. By following up with an email and straight-out asking them if there’s anything else, gives them the opportunity to ask away without either of you being put on the spot.
5. Confirm your next follow-up
And finally, set a date when you’ll give them a quick call or drop them another email to see where they’re at with their support needs.
And that’s it!
A simple yet effective method that shows your professionalism and a desire to work with them.