Once you’ve made your pitch to potential clients, waiting for a response can be nerve wracking. You don’t have to leave everything up to the client at that point, though. Following up on your pitch keeps you on the customer’s mind and improves your chances of a positive response.
Keep in Contact
Shortly after your pitch presentation, send a follow-up email to the potential client that gives a brief recap of what you discussed. Include links or attachments with more information about the subject, so they have something to think about that isn’t just the same information from the meeting. Good examples of follow-up pieces to send include an article about something discussed at the pitch meeting or a link to a case study showing how another company solved a similar problem. The goal of follow-up emails isn’t to hard-sell your product or service, but to build client relationships. Whatever you send their way should be useful or informative. Avoid asking for an immediate response to your pitch in your follow-up email. Give the client time to consider it and wait until the response date has passed to ask if any decision has been made.
Prepare for Success
While you’re waiting for an answer to your pitch, prepare your small business for a “yes” from the client. Make a plan, so you’re ready to tackle the project as soon as you get a response. If you need to outsource specific aspects of the job or require specialized software to manage the project, research those while waiting to hear from the client. Finish any outstanding work that your company has in the pipeline, so you don’t end up with a backlog once you land the job, and check in with any existing clients to make sure all current projects are where they need to be. Once you have everything set up and ready to roll, take some time to relax and enjoy a few days of calm before the new project hits the office.
Control Your Frustration
If the client told you to expect a response in two weeks and a month has passed, avoid expressing your frustration about the delay. Bad-mouthing a potential client might make you feel better, but it might also cost you the job. Even if you hear that the client chose a different vendor, continue to pursue a relationship with them. Many small businesses initially lose out on a pitch only to have the client come back months later when the firm they chose fails to meet their expectations, and they need a more reliable business to work with. As long as you don’t burn bridges after a failed pitch, you might be the first one the client calls for work later. Meanwhile, you can revamp your pitch and try to land a contract with another company.
Pitching to a variety of potential clients and creating a consistent follow-up routine to use over and over again puts you on the path to landing bigger and better clients as your small business grows.