Reaching Out to a Potential New Client
There are those who advocate ringing a potential new client and others that say an email works best. Whichever route you choose, reaching out to a potential client for the first time is a daunting prospect. Get it wrong and any promise of a successful collaboration abruptly disappear. So how do you reach out?
Reaching out: maximising how perceptive a new client could be to your services
Making contact with a potential new client means using the method that you feel they will be most perceptive too. There are some who advocate email, others say phone and then there are others who suggest a third way – and that is, utilising your network of contacts to make contact with new prospects.
Email is a ‘non-conformational’ means of making contact with someone. Choose the right words and you can create a softly-flowing email that sends all the right signals. It presents an opportunity for the client to take the relationship a step further if they want to and in their own time.
However, forget sending template emails as these can be spotted from a mile off. Make it personal or don’t send it.
Another issue is that emails are easy to ignore or forget about.
When to call first
Email is often used by smaller companies to make contact with potential prospects. This doesn’t mean that as an established brand, you can’t use it to harness new clients and assignments.
So those who advocate calling over email say that once your brand is established (read: well-known as a leader in its field), you should ditch the email. Why? Because it may not come across as direct enough, unlike a phone call.
There are times when clients will expect you to be more direct, such as when your brand is established and ‘speaks for itself’. It is also a great means for communicating – like email – as again, get it right with the right person making the call, and you can gather all kinds of information and feedback.
The third way: utilising your network of contacts
Business is about collaboration, building a network of contacts so that when you expand your business or need to reach out for services and products, you already have workable contacts with other brands.
As well as your own address book, utilising LinkedIn, the professional’s platform is also a great leverage tool for making contact with new prospects.
What not to do…
- Cold call – no one likes picking up the phone to discover that the person at the other end is going in for the hard sell.
- Spam emails – there is a difference between sending marketing emails and sending one that introduces your company to someone you’ve heard on the grapevine is looking for a product or service like yours. If you do send out marketing emails, make sure you following unsolicited email rules.
Experiment to see what works
There are no hard and fast rules. What one person prefers, another doesn’t but in our digital world, we tend to assume that email is the only answer for introducing ourselves to a new prospect. What other methods do you use to make contact with people?