How to Follow Up with Potential Clients – Give Benefits to Earn Business

We all have to discover the best way to follow up with our leads.

  • “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 believe in selling 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 the late sales expert Danny Cox:

Danny Cox, CPAE - Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, Author and Former Air Force Test Pilot
Danny Cox, CPAE – Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, Author, and Former Air Force Test Pilot

Danny Cox was 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.

Executive 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.

“Back in 2018, we invited you to help us with an important sales presentation, which we won. You will be as excited to know, that it continues to reap dividends! Last year, we were awarded $1.6 million in business with them. We just received a $2.8 million order from them already this year and it is still January. Your advice and coaching are awesome. What an ROI!”
Michael E. Stryczek, President & CEO, AB&R® (American Barcode and RFID)