One of the most frustrating things with running a small sign making business is not being able to close a deal with a client.
After going over several different proposals, making sketches, and getting yourself hyped for the job you hear those dreaded words, “I don’t think I am ready to make this kind of purchase yet.”
No matter what form the rejection comes in, it stings.
However, don’t give up hope. Just because a potential client isn’t ready for a sign right at this moment, doesn’t mean they won’t eventually need a sign maker. Treat such ones as potential clients and eventually they may convert into actual clients.
If you are working on winning over a client, consider trying these three tips:
- Follow-up with a simple thank-you note. Tell the customer you appreciate them taking the time to meet with you, and try to include one particular point that you enjoyed from meeting with them. Also, mention when you will be in touch. Either purchase a nice pack of thank-you cards to keep on hand, or create your own using a service such as VistaPrint.
- Keep track of potential clients using a customer database. Mark down their name, company information, what their initial interest was and when you plan to follow up with them. Include what you talked about at your last meeting, what contact you have had with them since, and what you plan to discuss on your next meeting. Nothing trumps keeping good records when it comes to following-up on interest and closing a sale. Tools you can use that will manage potential clients and set reminders for you to contact them are WebEx, SalesForce, Microsoft Outlook, Highrise.
- Give a call to let them know you are thinking of them. Chances are you have crossed their mind as well. Don’t phone often, of course, but try one-week, three-month, and six-month intervals. You may be surprised how many times you hear your potential client say, “I’ve been meaning to call you, but I’ve been so tied up. Can we get things started?” Above all, don’t estimate the power of the phone call. Today is the age of email for sure, but the personal touch and immediate dialogue of a phone call is a lot more powerful.
Have you been able to convert potential clients who have been hesitant into solid customers? What are your favorite ways to follow-up? Please share them in the comments section below.