Picture it…You’re wrapping up an enrollment conversation. You feel confident that you’ve made a real connection with this prospect, you’ve shown how you can help her achieve her goals and you believe that she sees the value in what you have to offer. Then, you hear her say, “It all sounds great, but I’ll have to think about it and get back to you.”
There are a number of reasons why someone might need to take some time to decide whether working with you is a good fit. Maybe they need to talk with their spouse before making a significant financial investment. Or maybe they have other service providers they want to research before making a commitment. You certainly don’t want a prospect to feel pressured to make a decision on the spot, but if you let them walk away, the likelihood that they’re going to follow back up with you is slim to none. (It’s like they say… “Out of sight, out of mind.”)
So what do you do?
Give them as much time as they need, but schedule your follow-up conversation while you still have them on the phone.
Here’s an example of how the conversation would go…
“I totally understand. How much time do you think you’ll need?” [They respond. I find that typically they need somewhere between a couple of days and a week.]
“Great! Listen, here’s what I like to do in a situation like this. Let’s get a quick 5-minute “touchbase” call on the calendar then so you can let me know where you’ve landed. That way, this won’t fall through the cracks, we don’t wind up playing phone tag, and I won’t be following up with you unnecessarily before you’re ready. What time would work for you?” [Schedule the call and ask them to call you at that time.]
This way, they don’t feel pressured (they’re coming up with the time frame after all) and you don’t feel like you’re chasing them. If, for some reason, they don’t call you at the scheduled time, you can check in with them to see if everything’s ok since they missed their appointment with you. And if, when you talk, they’ve decide that now isn’t the right time to work together, you can add them to your “warm prospects to love & nurture list” and follow back up with them every few months to see how things are going.
BONUS TIP: Be sure to send them an email immediately following your initial consultation recapping all that you discussed, restating your confidence that you can help them with their challenges and reminding them of their follow-up appointment time. When they’re thinking things through, they will likely pull this message out to review it…and be reminded of the connection they felt to you during your original conversation.
I’d love to hear…What do you think of this strategy? Do you have any additional ideas to add? Please go ahead and post in the comments below…