Most business people I know are hesitant to follow up with potential clients. “I don’t want to bug them,” they say. When we think about “sales” many of us get an archetypal image of a sleazy used car sales dealer. (Definitely not to say anything bad about used car sales people in general.) And we don’t want to think of ourselves as slimy or manipulative. This image makes us hold back. Also, we often feel a little desperate or panicked when getting more business becomes our top priority. We don’t want to plead on our knees for new business, either. I am here to give you the good news that you don’t have to be manipulative or groveling to solicit your business. (Though I have tried groveling and it does have a certain amount of effectiveness.)
One issue that keeps us from promoting our businesses is the icky feeling of shame around wanting more money. We want money, sure. We need money to live. By instead focusing on our core values we can promote our businesses in a way that feels good. Instead of picking up the phone ashamed that part of us is seeing the person on the other end as a potential much needed dollar sign, we can call with the knowledge that we have something wonderful to offer. When I follow up from my core value of empowering others to greater success, I feel positive and connected. And a “no” simply means that person is not in a position where they feel the need for support. If I was calling keenly aware of my fear of being interpreted as a slimy salesperson, I might make a “no” mean that that person indeed sees me as slimy. That “no” would hurt! Fear of rejection can be quite an obstacle to building a business. But it is just as easy to put it in perspective by focusing on what is essential and meaningful to us at our core.
In addition to looking at contacting potential clients from our core values, following up really is a critical component to excellent customer service. In our Entrepreneurs Group a member pointed out that he is grateful when a service provider calls to follow up. He said the reason he decided to try my group was because I followed up. He went on to cite several other examples of times when he ended up giving the person who followed up his business over another business owner who, perhaps politely, left him alone. Your potential customers get busy. Your email is buried right under the one from their mother that they are putting off. They really want to engage with you but they have been putting out fires. More often than not your potential clients will THANK YOU for your call and feel good about you and your professional customer service. It feels good to work with someone who is attentive to our needs.
You have something wonderful to offer others. There are people out there just waiting to benefit from your product or service. You are the answer to someone else’s prayers. Make it easy and pleasant for them to find you and move forward. Some of us have a tendency to feel unworthy on some level. We resist the desire to get money or to be valued for our product or service. We see others living in scarcity and feel shame when we want better for ourselves. We feel like we are imposing to ask for compensation when “everyone is having such a hard time.” I wonder how long it will take us to notice when everyone is no longer “having such a hard time”. Sometimes I think that story is self-perpetuating. By following up you are expressing your core values, giving great customer service, as well as modeling abundance thinking by refusing to live from the scarcity story any longer. May you be truly successful and bring prosperity to us all!