By Melissa Willis
Ok….sometimes it’s wayyyy after hours or a Saturday or Sunday. It’s the “911” new client call. I’ve done them on vacation, in the grocery store, at the g ym and at home in bed. Is it inconvenient? Yep, but remember it’s inconvenient for everyone including your potential new client. No one wants to work during “off” hours. But you have to remember the reason for an after hours call ... your potential new client is in a tough spot.
Sometimes the new client is referred by a trusted source and sometimes it’s a cold call. Regardless of how the client reached out what’s important is they reached out to you and your team! Now the ball is in your team’s “court”, wherever that “court” happens to be. So, if I have to do a call somewhere “unusual” I always try to take notes on a writeable surface and access my email. It goes without saying that conversing intelligently is numero uno. But I have ended with notes on my hands or on the roll of paper towels I was buying.
In the midst of my car which is where I usually end up for the “911” call – unless I’m at home – I’m simultaneously making an assessment of their needs and our team’s abilities to deliver the big 3 or small 3-the creative, the budget and the timeframe (which in these situations means ASAP).
From there lots of questions, clarifications, a recap of everything discussed verbally and a group email keeps ever yone on the sa me pa ge since a decision to commit is usually expected and needed by the end of the call. Let’s be honest….sometimes it’s not a good fit. What I’ve learned is if you don’t waste the client’s time they will appreciate your honesty. Either way it’s an opportunity to nurture a relationship. What I’ve learned from nature shows is if a relationship is nurtured the odds of it growing are 100% (unless a grizzly bear decides to eat you). The one in our bathroom won’t eat you, I promise.