Don’t judge someone based on an email. Maybe they’re being mistreated by a competitor, maybe they were rushing out of the house, maybe their child threw up on their keyboard or maybe they just ultra-hate email.
Be understanding. They’ll like you for it.
When you receive an email from a potential client, it’s possible that a few of your competitors did as well. I get a lot of “I’m just shopping for quotes” emails. These are my favorites because I’m the fastest responder in the universe, and I make it a game to get back to them within a few minutes.
That means a lot to potential clients. It makes them feel important (they are) and it bodes well for their projects IF you can keep up the rapid communication.
I also use a program called TextExpander. It allows me to write and save text snippets which I can then paste into an email/document simply by using a shortcode. So…instead of rewriting an answer every time a client asks the same question, I can just hit “ctrl+whatever” and BAM! paragraphs of well-formed, well-written text appear. Love it! I’ve got pre-written answers for ebook jobs, websites, logos, terms of service, etc.
Now, when I say be fast, that doesn’t mean I just whip out an email that says, “It’ll cost you $200! Thanks, bye!” No…I actually write a personalized email with their name in it and everything. But I do it quickly, soon after they write me. Being able to type like a bastard helps. As does the fact that I ignore the “only check your emails twice a day” gurus out there who prefer to make their clients stand in line a while, which brings us to…
Leave your email open
Productivity gurus often tell us to check and respond to emails only between certain hours, or only twice a day or some other “system.” I think systems for the most part are bullshit, unless the system happens to be about providing good service.
When you buy groceries, you aim for the shortest line, yes? That’s because we don’t like waiting. Neither do potential clients. And believe me, they know when they’re being thrown to the back of the line to wait.
On the other hand, I bet you’ve never had a client say, “You responded way too quickly. I’m gonna go find a procrastinator to work with.”
Actually read their email and respond intelligently
The best way to look like a jackass to a potential client is to do this:
Client: “I really need you do design my ebook. Can you help?”
You: “Sure, I’d love to help with your website.”
That makes a client feel awesome.
Keep them excited
Remember that a client is probably pretty excited about his or her upcoming project, and you should stoke that fire as much as possible. If they want you to help them with Item X, tell how and why you are awesome at Item X and what the results may be for them.
You can mention that a past client had 50% increase in profits after working with you on a similar thing. Or you can send stats of what they might experience after working with you.
This works well for a couple reasons:
First, you’re showing them benefits about their project, and benefits sell. Look at effective sales copy nowadays and you’ll see benefit after benefit written up.
Second, this excitement will also turn the client on about YOU. When you write them and are excited about what your services might do for them, they’ll be excited to and will have a great vibe about you. It sort of fits into the “Grant them Importance” one above, only in this case you’re granting their dream a lot of importance and showing what might happen if it comes true.
I hope these tips might help you out. And I’d love to hear some of your techniques as well, so light up the comments if you’d like!
Good luck!Posted: Tuesday, September 28th, 2010