How To Get a Response From "Sleeping" Clients

Posted by David Chism | Thu, Nov 18, 2010

 How To Get a Response From "Sleeping" Clients
Which kind of kid were you: the kind who wakes up with­out an alarm, gets ready for school in an order­ly rou­tine and is ear­ly at the bus stop? The kid who hits the snooze once or twice, brush­es his teeth in the show­er and just gets to the bus on time? Or were you the one who always slept through the alarm, and after mom woke you up you always arrived at the bus stop with your shoes untied and break­fast in one hand just as the dri­ver shut the door? Just like there are dif­fer­ent types of kids, there are dif­fer­ent types of clients. Some know they need your ser­vices, watch for your spe­cials, and call you right away. Oth­ers need a reminder or two, but they´ll be sure to get things arranged before it’s too late. Then there are the sleep­ers: these ones see your sale pro­mo­tions and think, I´ve got time.” They’re not think­ing about your prod­uct or ser­vice as much as you are, even though they know they need it. Of course, you´re not their mom — you don’t want to nag — but one gen­tle, well-timed nudge might get them scram­bling for the phone to sched­ule an esti­mate with you before they miss the bus! So what is the most effec­tive way to mar­ket to all three types, includ­ing the snooz­ers? Don´t over­do the mar­ket­ing; it isn’t an effec­tive use of your mon­ey, and it makes clients think you’re too pushy. Here are a few guidelines: 
  • Be friend­ly and be con­sis­tent, using a vari­ety of meth­ods. Maybe for one pro­mo­tion you could start with a mail­er, fol­low-up with a phone call a while lat­er, and remind them at the end with an email.
  • Include a call to action. Sug­gest what the cus­tomer should do (“call today to sched­ule…”), and give them a dead­line or an incen­tive to act by a cer­tain time (“the first 10 cus­tomers to call will receive…” or Cus­tomers who sched­ule before Decem­ber 15th will receive…”).
  • Do a final fol­low-up. If it is a mail­er or let­ter, you could print an urgent mes­sage on the out­side of the enve­lope, such as, This week only” or Only 5 Spots Left For Our Win­ter Sched­ule.” Email mar­ket­ing is a great way to wake a sleep­ing client at the end of a pro­mo­tion. It is easy and afford­able. Send a brief email remind­ing them of the deal, and put some­thing urgent in the sub­ject line, such as, Today Only: Our Win­ter Spe­cial Ends Today.”
Here is a recent exam­ple from one of my clients, who hit” his clients three times for one pro­mo­tion. First he sent out a mail­er in small batch­es intro­duc­ing the Win­ter Spe­cial, which received a few respons­es. Next he made fol­low-up calls to make sure they had received the fly­er and to ask if they had any projects they need­ed to sched­ule dur­ing the time­frame of the dis­count. This call pro­duced more esti­mates and sales. He sus­pect­ed that there were still a few pro­cras­ti­nat­ing sleep­ers who had work they want­ed done but hadn’t got­ten around to call­ing yet. 
    At this point the own­er cre­at­ed a sim­ple email with a catchy sub­ject line, imme­di­ate­ly inform­ing clients that the sale end­ed TODAY! When I spoke with my client this week, he said that he got 4 or 5 clients who called him that evening as late as 8:00 pm ask­ing if it was still OK to get an esti­mate before the sale end­ed! Yes, even wealthy clients like spe­cials, dis­counts, and small free­bies. You don´t need to be a BIG dis­counter (like Wal-Mart, Tar­get etc.) to attract clients. Just give them a bit of an extra push or incen­tive to call now. It works!

    About David Chism

    David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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