So, your face-to-face meeting went very well. They agreed. Your prospect is now a client. They signed papers or handed over a check. Or maybe that’s not quite your scenario, and your proposal is merely in the running. Either way, what happens next?
Here’s What You Want to Avoid
Ever hear of Buyer’s Remorse? Your potential client agreed. They signed papers. You quickly pack up and leave. Your new client, a movie buff, is reminded of those Mission Impossible scenes when the team quickly packs up and moves out once the “con” has been successfully executed. Your new client wonders if they made a bad decision. They call the next day to back out. Avoiding this outcome is why following up is so important.
Your Prospect is Now Your Client. What Next?
Let’s assume your client is buying one of your advisory services. Perhaps you do financial planning or engage in wealth management. Once your client agrees, congratulate them on making a good decision. Explain why. If they have a problem that needs to be solved or a goal they want to reach someday, explain how the action they’ve just taken puts them on the right path.
Next, explain what they just agreed to do. In the financial services industry, it’s called “Reading the order back.” If they are changing accountants or handing over money, you are going to be taking action. You want to avoid a conversation a few days later that starts with: “Wait! I never agreed to that!”
This is followed by explaining what happens next. What will they get in the mail? Who might be calling them? What will they want? K, now it’s time to leave.
Call your client a day or two afterwards. Let them know you’ve gotten the ball rolling. What have you done so far? Remind them what will be coming by surface mail or e-mail. Obviously, they should read it over, but what else should they do? Ask them to save everything. You will review it during your next call. f they have opened an account that generates a monthly statement, ask them to call you when it arrives. In most cases, seeing a statement in an unfamiliar format is very confusing.
But you call them first. Call when you think that statement should have arrived or is available online. Review it together. You might need to help them access their statement online. This call completed the circle that started with them giving you permission to proceed during your face-to-face meeting. It also reinforces this is the start of an ongoing relationship, not a one-time transaction.
Your Prospect Hasn’t Made a Decision. What Next?
In many cases, your face-to-face meeting has a different outcome. If it’s an individual sitting across from you, they want to think about it. If it’s a competitive situation, you are bidding for a company’s business. They will be making a decision later.
You want to stay on their radar. Calling weekly and asking: “Have you made a decision yet?” is almost a guarantee of a “no” answer. People will be more receptive if you are calling to provide them with new information. This also establishes the connection: “Every time she calls, I learn something new.” This increases the chances they will be receptive to your call. Pricing often changes. Prices go up, but business written before a certain date is grandfathered under the older, more attractive terms. This can be a motivating factor for prospects.
Tactful follow up is important because you want to stay top of mind. People may put off decision making, but when it’s time, they often act quickly. Some people give the business to the last person who contacted them. They were fresh in their mind. Others send the business to someone who followed up efficiently, but not excessively.
Here are a couple of tactful ways to stay on their radar. First, send a thank you note immediately after your face-to-face meeting. Although you might think handwritten notes belong to age of the rotary telephone, they stand out in a prospect’s mind because very few people make the effort to send them. See an article that’s relevant to your prospect? Maybe it’s about the service you are selling or their specific industry. Clip it out and mail it or e-mail a link. This provides them with information they can use. It also keeps you top of mind.
Face-to-face meetings are very powerful, and having a follow-up strategy keeps up the momentum.
This series on the power of face-to-face relationships is bought to you in association with BQE CORE, which uses cutting-edge AI technology to make sure that you are fully up to speed with your client's activity - empowering you to be on top of your game.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. in New Hope, Pennsylvania. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, Captivating the Wealthy Investor, can be found on Amazon.com.