By Sally Glick - I am back from my recent vacation, and while navigating the curving, beautiful scenic routes in Ireland, I had time to think about my next blog idea. It is a challenge to touch on something new and fresh – some key insight – that will add value for all of you as you continue to brand your firm and generate new opportunities. But that very thought made me stop and think: how about old opportunities?
In other words, do not discount the prospects who do not select your firm this time around. I met an architect once who told me that when his firm’s proposal is turned down by a prospective client he sends a personal, handwritten letter thanking them for their time and wishing them well. Twice he has been called back because the prospect, while initially selecting his competitor, realized that they were sorry. His reaching out to them provided them with a chance to call him back, save face, and make a change before they got too far down the path! His personal note and thoughtfulness really caught their attention.
It may be equally as beneficial to revisit the prospects after one year. In other words, for any opportunities that you “lost,” send a note after one year. See how they are doing now that they have had the chance to work with another firm. Perhaps they made a poor choice and will gladly follow up with you. It is most likely that these business owners are perfectly happy with their decision. But for the one or two times that this may not be the case, you should position your firm to take advantage of the new opportunity. After all, the prospect already knows you, has met personally with you, and may very well be ready for another change. This time it might be your turn!
No matter what, you should try to maintain contact with lost prospects, even if it is just to keep them on your newsletter mailing list.