The Fortune Is in the Follow Up

Here's a common situation in business:

You've connected with a potential client, explained your services, and they seem excited to move forward. They even requested a proposal, promised to review it and get back to you posthaste.

Then, nothing.

Weeks, even months, go by without a word ... no reply to emails, no returned phone calls, total radio silence.

What should you do? I say, stay in the game. The fortune is found in your follow up. Follow up and continue to follow up until one of four outcomes has occurred:

  1. They die.
  2. They go out of business.
  3. They send you a cease-and-desist letter.
  4. They hire you.

Look, your prospective client is being ... well, rude. Rather than say, "This isn't a good time." Or, "You're too expensive." Or, "I'm still working to get approval," most prospects say nothing. They are probably thinking, "I need to answer," but instead don't until they have a yes or some kind of definitive answer. It's a bummer, but it's reality. Meanwhile, behind the scenes your prospective client could be working on your behalf to get approval. Most "yes's" happen after the seventh follow up, and an astounding 80 percent of all sales are made between fifth to 12th contact.

Which means you may follow up for months, even years. If you know for sure you can help your prospect, you owe it to them and to yourself to continue to develop the relationship until they engage you.