How To Follow Up With Potential Clients – Give Benefits To Earn Business

Follow up is an important part of the sales process. Patricia Fripp gives us insight on what a strong follow-up sales conversation entails.

As an Executive Speech Coach and Sales Presentation Trainer, people who sell their own coaching, training, and consulting services ask me these types of questions about how to handle inquiries from potential clients:

  • “What is your sales process?”
  • “How do your leads come in?”
  • “What do you do with your leads?”
  • “How do you follow with prospects?”
  • “What process do you use to get to a formal presentation?”

An example of my process with a potential client who is in need of executive speech coaching:

I always sell by doing – not by telling. Everyone who sells consulting services should be selling by doing and not telling. If a potential client asked me to explain how I might coach their executives in speaking, I would say, “Imagine we were locked in a room together, what presentation would we be working on? If you have an important speech coming up, or if you have recently delivered one … who is / was your audience? What was the purpose of your presentation? What was the message you wanted to get across? How did you open?”

It is amazing how many executives delivered a presentation just yesterday and they have no recollection of how they opened! To this I always say, “Obviously, you didn’t focus on the opening and the closing.” Through this kind of analysis, I can give samples of my help and expertise.

An example of my process with a potential client who is in need of sales presentation training:

When talking with a potential client who is considering my services to train their sales team, I find out what they are already typically saying and doing in their sales presentations. In our conversation together we discover some of the specific areas in which they can use my help. We determine exactly how sales presentation training can improve the performance of their sales team.

Usually in this type of discussion there is a point in the conversation where the prospective client says, “That sounds great. What would it cost?” You must be able to deliver a response like this with a straight face, “Based on the cost of the sales you are losing, my fee is inconsequential.” You can learn to respond this way when you have demonstrated with confidence that your services and expertise will truly benefit your client. You would follow this reply with, “The questions we should really be asking are, ‘Do we start with a pilot program? Do we want to do a webinar for everyone in the organization? Are you ready to roll it out for all the salespeople? Do you have an event where your sales team is going to be together?’”

An example of how to have a conversation with a potential client from Danny Cox:

Danny Cox is an outstanding professional speaker on leadership and also an expert in the real estate business. Sometimes when following up with a potential client they might say, “Well thank you, we liked your material but we’ve actually decided not to hire a speaker now.” or “We’ve decided to hire someone else.” Of course as a speaker, consultant, or trainer the correct response to this is always, “Thank you for your consideration.” However, Danny had a better way to say this; he would say, “Well thank you for considering me. Obviously, I worked in your industry for many years. Would you look at what is on your desk and let me know what problem you are currently trying to solve? As a thank you for considering me, let me see if I can help solve it.” Danny reported that almost without exception the client would eventually decide to work with him because he had demonstrated the benefit in working with him through delivering a benefit. Danny says,“No does not mean ‘not ever.’”

Remember, give benefits to earn business.

patricia FrippExecutive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, Patricia Fripp is hired by individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.  She and her expert associates are the ultimate destination if you want to improve the quality of your public speaking, executive presentations, sales presentations, or if you are looking for a keynote speaker for your meetings, conventions, and corporate events.


About the author

Natasha Zena

Around age eight Natasha Zena was told it was a woman’s job to take care of the home and since then she has built a career out of telling women they can do whatever the hell they want to do. She is the co-founder of Lioness, the go-to news source for everything female entrepreneur. Natasha was recognized as an emerging leader in digital media by The Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. She has mentored women entrepreneurs and moderated panels at a number of national accelerators, Startup Weekends and conferences such as The Lean Startup Conference, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, Women Empower Expo and Smart Cities Connect. Natasha is also the author of the popular whitepaper, "How To Close The Gender Gap In Startup Land By 2021." In her spare time, she writes short fiction and hangs out with her son, Shaun.

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