You've made the perfect pitch to a potential client you'd love to work with. Feeling confident, you reach out to follow-up, only to receive the cold shoulder. While it is hard to pinpoint the exact reason, knowing these 5 post-pitch follow-up mistakes can help you avoid similar responses in the future.
1. Being Too Pushy
Chances are this client is receiving multiple pitches from people just like you. And while you are eager to close the deal, the client has other projects and tasks needing their attention. So how do you walk the fine line between persistence and pushiness? Summarize your presentation by emphasizing what you can do for them. Agree on a timeline for follow-up and most importantly, ask them for their preferred follow-up channels.
2. Non-Traditional Follow-Up Channels
There's a lot to be said for the simple handwritten note. Sending one may just be the way to become top-of-mind in your potential client's busy day. Decision makers receive hundreds of emails and texts, but seldom receive a handwritten note. If you do choose email as a follow-up channel, keep the subject short, recap what you offer, and ask if they have any questions.
3. Not Listening
What is making your potential client hesitate? Were you all talk during the presentation? Sometimes the focus on the sale is so intense, we forget to actually listen to what the client is saying or more importantly, not saying. Facial expressions, body language, and not replying to follow-up all speak pretty loudly without saying a word.
4. Knowing When to Back Down
You just know you can help this client excel but they aren't feeling it. Even if you are having a slow sales month, knowing when to back down is crucial. Decide how much time you want to invest in chasing a particular client. Keep in mind that respectfully walking away is much more professional than appearing desperate.
5. The Generic Follow-Up
Generic follow-ups are a sure way to express to a potential client that you weren't listening to their needs. There is no "one size fits all" in marketing so no one generic follow-up is going to seal any deal. Personalize the follow-up in a way that reminds them of your previous interaction. Keep it short, get to the point, and convey how your services will solve their challenges.
A successful pitch is exciting and sometimes even a great adrenaline rush. Keeping the momentum of the pitch alive is like walking a tightrope. Find your balance of persistence and pushiness by understanding your client and their needs and following up appropriately.
And finally, be sure to Align Your Sales and Marketing teams so everyone knows what’s going on and has the same approach.