10 Basic Principles for Turning Your Prospect into Clients: Nudge the Prospect Along

November 25th, 2009 by | Print



This is a little disclaimer that I will be adding to the beginning of every post in this ten part series so new readers that jump in mid way will understand the premise for these posts. If you have been following through the entire series, you can skip the following paragraph to get to the latest lesson.


If you are just joining us, I am writing a series of 10 basic principles that will help you increase your conversion rate of turning potential prospects into paying customers. If you missed that post, then I recommend that you click on the title, “10 Basic Principles for Turning Your Prospects into Clients” and give it a read before going on.


Today’s topic focuses on what you can do when a prospect needs a nudge.


To nudge or not to nudge, that is the question. The word nudge is often synonymous with annoy. And I am guessing that you don’t want to come off as the proverbial used car salesman. However, you can avoid the annoyance factor by following these two primary rules.


Listen to your prospect.

In the course of your first conversation, listen for openings where you can interject your expertise. Don’t let these opportunities pass you by. If you read the previous post in this series about contributing ideas and suggestions, you will be hard pressed to find a prospect that doesn’t appreciate you offering beneficial ideas.


Don’t be afraid to take it a step further by following up your ideas with permission to get started. Your prospect will let you know if they aren’t ready. In doing so, they create the opportunity for you to ask tactfully what conditions must be met to move forward. Through this process you can help them better define their requirements and what obstacles they must remove to get going.


If a customer remains elusive about specifics, investigate further whether their hesitancy is due to a lack of knowledge about how to proceed or if they simply don’t want to proceed with you.


In the first scenario, you can help them define a plan of action with helpful ideas. In the latter scenario, you have little to lose. An elusive customer that is passive about giving the brush off is not going to be the best long-term customer. Tactfully bow out and give the prospect time to come back around if they choose.


Respect their timelines.

Learn to appreciate a prospect that gives you definitive timelines for when they will be ready to further discuss their needs or better yet, when they will be ready to purchase your products or services. Those that are specific with dates will appreciate if you respect them.


However, if the timeframe is out a ways (greater than 3 months), it doesn’t hurt to follow up (aka nudge) with a message in the meantime. You can send a personal note if you know they have a birthday or a business message if you have new information that is relevant to their industry. When you send this note, don’t push for a decision at this time. This is just a “don’t forget about me” message.


Realize that nudging a prospect isn’t always viewed as a negative. I have had people thank me for helping them make a decision and get their project started. Since everyone is different, you have to use your people skills and get a sense of how far and how hard to nudge. Offering up suggestions, ideas and insight first is a good way to show that you care about the prospect’s business and not just your bottom line.


In the next post, we will talk about the benefits of ballparking your pricing right away.


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


Leave a Reply

Security Code: