Client work is what really pays my bills. Not the business book I wrote or the WordPress book, though they add a bit to the bottom line.

Since it’s client work that pays the bills, I need to keep in touch with possible leads and older, awesome clients.

Following up on possible projects

I know a few consultants that only follow up once after they have sent an estimate and contract. They figure that following up more just shows that you’re desperate and that the client can take advantage of you by asking for discounts.

They are wrong, dead wrong.

I follow up with a client about an estimate, until I hear NO or they’ve been dead (not replied) for a few weeks.

At this point I’ve already talked to them, done a bit of project research and invested my time in the process. It simply doesn’t make sense to stop following up with the client if they’re still replying to you.

Of course there are a few clients that I hear from and I find out that they are a bonehead. Of course, I actually tell them that I’m no longer interested so they need to find someone else.

Follow up with long term clients

What about long term clients though?

You know the ones that are awesome and you really enjoyed working with and paid on time?

You don’t just let them disappear on you, do you?

Yeah, I know that most of you do let them disappear, but I don’t.

First off I put them in my email to-do list every 3 months to touch base with. It’s not a ‘do you have any work’ email. I simply ask them how life/work is going.

That usually results in 3 or 4 emails going between. 3 or 4 times a year that also brings in new work that they had been ‘thinking’ about talking to me on for a couple months already.

Yup, they knew where I was and had work they wanted done, but just hadn’t got around to talking to me yet. Last year 15k of work came from 1 email to touch base about life.

So no I don’t just let older awesome clients take off into the ether.

And you shouldn’t either.

Take Away

First, follow up with potential (good) clients until they say no. That’s the worst they can do, not give you the work.

Second, have a list of your awesome clients and make sure you follow up with them every 3 months. Send them an article that could interest them in business. Maybe they like motorcycles and you saw an interesting one that you can send to them to look at.

Build that relationship long term, don’t just let your clients fade away and forget about how awesome you are.

Show them how awesome you are every 3 months.

photo credit: kwl cc