Over the past two weeks we’ve taken a look at a couple of bad habits that often come into play during a first conversation with a potential client, and some alternatives that will work far better:
Overcoming Ba-a-a-ad Habits That Sabotage Your Success – this bad habit addresses being way too helpful.
Another Ba-a-a-ad Habit That Will Sabotage Your Success – this one looks at the bad, bad idea of answering the “how much do you charge?” question with an hourly rate.
This third ba-a-ad habit is the easiest of all to fix. The only challenge is figuring out when to inject it into the conversation you have with a potential new client.
So what is Ba-a-a-d Habit #3?
Not asking for the business.
Marketers call the asking part a “Call to Action” or CTA for short.
The call to action is exactly that – asking or telling people to commit. When you don’t ask, there is little chance it will happen. When you don’t ask, the potential client may think you don’t want to work with her.
So, of course, the remedy is to ask for the business!
For example, let’s look at this conversation:
Mrs. Lowell calls you because she needs help. She describes her situation with her new diagnosis, her discomfort with the doctor who diagnosed her, her wish to explore other treatment options, and how she’s not sure what’s covered with her insurance.
Your heart just bleeds for her! She’s in a really tough spot, and you have the skills to help her.
So you ask her some questions (questions that will help her trust you, but not questions that will tell her what her next steps should be – see Ba-a-a-ad Habit #1), and you get a good sense of what she wants and needs. You know her requirements are smack dab in your wheelhouse. You assure her that you’re very capable of helping her get through this journey.
You’re positive she feels good about the conversation, You know you’ve begun to garner some trust. But sadly and frustratingly, you hang up the phone with no contract, and no sense that she’ll call you back to hire you.
Because you didn’t ask! You never used the words, “Are we ready to work together? Our next step is to review my contract together and get some signatures… What is your email address and I’ll send it over….”
… or words to that effect.
If you don’t ask, you won’t get the business. Period. That’s your CTA – to ASK for the business.
As I said above, it’s often the timing that is the most difficult. That’s something you’ll perfect over time, as you begin to recognize a nuance or change of tone. But don’t worry about not getting it right – seriously – because it’s better not to get it right and precise than it is not to get it at all.
Asking at the wrong time won’t be great, but at least you asked, and you’ll have a chance of signing a contract. Not asking at all gets you no where.
These three Ba-a-a-ad Habits, when overcome together, can make your conversations with your potential clients go well, and will culminate with more successful new potential client phone calls.
Our tip next week will be a great way for you to remember all these new, good habits – to make them work smoothly for you.
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