As more and more prospective clients turn to the Internet and social networking platforms to search for designers, your first contact with a prospect is likely to be an email or text message. While these initial contacts can produce valuable leads, they can quickly become a time suck if not managed properly. You want to avoid getting pulled into a Q&A messaging loop that possibly may lead nowhere.
To safeguard your time, don’t attempt to pre-screen the prospect via email or messaging. Instead, thank the prospect for their inquiry and suggest that the two of you set up an appointment to speak in person or by phone in order to discuss their needs and any questions they may have. If the prospect declines or has “just a few questions” they want answers to first, remain firm and explain that it is important that you speak person to person in order to determine if you are the right designer for them. In this way you can quickly weed out the shoppers from the serious prospects.
The key to a successful and profitable practice is identifying the right clients – not just those who are interested in engaging your services, but those who meet your criteria as suitable clients. You can’t determine whether you and the client will be a good fit through written correspondence. For that you need to speak with them directly and gain a more in-depth appraisal of their needs, expectations, resources, and personality. If, after the initial conversation, it is more convenient for the two of you to correspond in writing, you will have established a firm foundation for managing that process going forward.
Not sure who your “best” client is? Contact me, and let’s discuss your plans and goals for your business. I can help you develop a profile, screening process and marketing strategy to secure more of the clients you want to have.