We all know how exciting it is when you start talking to a prospective new client and you decide that they’re going to be a BIG client bringing your business all sorts of new opportunities and sales revenue.
But things start to slow down after several meetings, and then each meeting rolls into the last and little progress is made….
They have delays on their end which may be holding them back, but nothing seems to be happening and no decisions are being made and no confirmation is being given on anything.
What can you do?
- Call them on it to gain some clarity
Ask them direct questions they have to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to, for example:
- have you received the order from your client?
- Have your products gone into production yet?
- Have you won that tender yet?
- Do you have funding to start this project now?
If they mumble theiranswer, consider that as a ‘no’…
2. Be patient
Often, what we see as an excruciating delay, our client is experiencing the same frustration with their own delays.
When acquiring a new client is so important because you need the sales, or because you’ve worked so hard and so long to acquire them that securing this client has become momentously important, remember this: what is most important to us, is NOT what is most important to your client.
This has happened tome many times over the years, and in many cases (not all) you just need to be patient, and while you’re being patient, consider point
3.Give it a time limit
If you haven’t heard within a certain amount of time, move on. Moving on doesn’t mean the opportunity won’t become real, but it does mean you will stop giving it more attention than it has already had from you and your team.
Depending on what your client told you, the time limit may be a fortnight, a month or two months. My rule of thumb is generally a month.
4.Focus on acquiring new opportunities
In the meantime, it’s best if you focus on developing and following up new opportunities. Not only will it focus you away from ‘waiting’, it will add to your pipeline of new business potential which is always a good activity
.5 Stay in touch for a period of time
Refer to point 3. If you give the prospect a time limit – in your own mind, don’t share it with them – and after that point back away if you don’t have any outcome. Beyond that, stay in touch for a period of time which could be six to twelve months depending on the company and the size of the opportunity.