I was asked a question on a Twitter chat I was a part of that said “A few of us are clearly uncomfortable with the idea of seeming like a nuisance. Have you received a negative response to multiple follow-ups?”
Following up with someone after they’ve expressed interest in you is not being a nuisance or annoying or bothersome. Unless you are emailing them every day with “Just checking in.”
If you have an email that sounds like “Hey Pete, I was thinking about your project a little bit more and came across this article that talks specifically about that one thing. Here’s the link if you have a few minutes to check it out. If not, the big takeaways were…Hope you find it useful. Best, Jason”
For whatever reason, most people, as service-based businesses, get all messed up in the head the closer someone gets to becoming a client.
Anytime they see an email address, they ask “can we add them to our email list?”
Yet, as it gets closer and closer to the sale, they start to shy away from it.
It’s very much a mindset that you put yourself into. One that at the beginning of starting my business, once I realized that it was just business and that if they thought me sending them an email that’s helpful is annoying, then we ultimately weren’t a good fit to work together.
Imagine you walk into a store, let’s say a car dealership. As you walk in you immediately go towards the car that you are interested in. You open the door, sit in the driver’s seat to see how it feels. You hop into the back to see how much legroom there is. And you come to the point where you want to get some more information.
So you seek out a salesperson. She comes over and you ask some questions about options, colors, if they have it in stock and she answers all of your questions and then takes you on a test drive.
As you walk back into the dealership you realize that you are completely alone. Even the salesperson, who was right behind you coming through the door is gone.
Now what? You’re ready to sit down and go over financing.
You are literally standing there ready to buy and wondering what’s next.
Now I ask you “what’s annoying now?”
That’s what it can seem like for your leads. They opt-in to your lead magnet or fill out your contact form, maybe have a few back and forth emails with you, and even get on the phone with you and get to the proposal stage.
After you hang up on the call, it’s radio silence from you. The lead is wondering what happened? Seemed like things were working out, but they may be wondering what’s next. Even with the proposal in hand, they may have some questions still. In fact, there’s a good chance they do.
Here’s the thing, people, humans, are embarrassed to ask questions. They don’t want to look as if they don’t know something and even more so, during a negotiation period where they have your proposal in hand, they certainly don’t want to appear that they are at a disadvantage.
You can leave it up to them to reach out, that’s all well and fine. But what if they have a question, that your very next email in your follow-up sequence answers it?
How would that make the lead feel?
They probably feel like you fully understand them. That you can help them with their project and where they want to go.
What if they had some questions about your process, further than what you explained on your site?
Now your second follow-up email explains in further detail what it is like working with you?
Now they are feeling pretty great I would assume. They get their questions answered and you are exhibiting that you’ve been doing this for a while and understand, yet anticipate what the lead is thinking.
They are in your sales pipeline. They are on your list. If you are “annoying” them, they can click that link at the bottom of the emails and unsubscribe.
But I’ve never had that happen once because they’ve obviously taken some time to want to learn more about what I can do for them. If we had a call, then it’s even more apparent that they want more from me.
At that point, I’m really trying to add more value to help them make a better buying decision.
At the very least, if you feel that you are bugging someone, remember this. There’s the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email going from your ConvertKit account, your MailChimp account, your Aweber account, whatever platform you use.
So if you have a sequence setup, you don’t even have to worry about the sending, it’s done for you.
Above all else, if a lead responds negatively to you providing them a follow-up sequence that’s helpful, answers questions, and positions you as an expert in your field, then are they going to respect your experience and expertise during the project? I’d bet not. Better to find that out now, rather than later.
Start a Freelance Business
More episodes in this topic:
What are the costs involved in becoming a freelancer?
Is the income from freelancing reliable?
What payment structure should I do?
How do you build a good freelancing profile in the field of web development considering the competition?
What are skills you can learn fast and have high freelancer value?
How to start freelancing?
Should you do free work to build a portfolio?
What is freelance?
How can I start freelancing without experience?
What does it take to be a freelancer?
Why did you start freelancing?
What is the very first step to work as a freelancer?
How do you set the boundary of work you do and work you don't do?
What are your client red flags?
What should you be able to create as a web developer before starting in your freelance career?
When starting out freelance, should I just be a generalist to get my feet wet, or should I go for that niche?
As a developer, should I throw my projects on Github or build a site from scratch to grab attention?
What can I use for social proof when starting as a freelancer?
How can I start freelancing as a web developer?
Should I use my name or create a business name when starting?
Should I call myself a “freelancer” (definitive answer)?
Why should you not be a freelancer?
How do you collect online payments as a freelancer
How much money do I need to make?
Why is hourly billing bad?
Why is hourly billing good?
What are the biggest mistakes a freelancer can make?
How to adapt and change to the WordPress climate?
How to budget as a freelancer?
What is your marketing plan?
What is your sales process?
What do you do to position yourself as an expert to leads?
How do you balance your time for sales and marketing?
How do you get high-quality clients?
Should I offer my services as a web designer/developer or specialize first?
What do you do again?
What is the best freelancing website?
What do you do for a follow-up sequence for leads?
How to attract clients with big budgets?
How not to be annoying in sales?
How do you convince someone to sign a contract?
What to say when a client is late on a payment?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach