Remember when the biggest stress in your life was trying to figure out how long before you call her? A day, 2 days… that night? Fast forward 20 years later. You’re now a small business owner (sucker). You get a lead. Either in the form of an email, a voice message, text, whatever. Do you call back right away? You don’t want to seem desperate and you certainly don’t want to seem like you’ve been doing nothing all day but waiting around for your phone to ring, or ping. You need to find that perfect balance between being in-demand and being accessible.
In today’s market, there’s simply no time to pretend you are busier than you really are. If you take too long to respond, the client will simply keep clicking through to the next site until they reach someone. With a billion (rough scientific estimate) ways to get in touch with someone, there’s simply no excuse to leave a potential client hanging longer than a couple of hours at most. It takes 30 seconds to respond to someone, to let them know that you have received their request and will get back to them with a more detailed within the (day).
The client isn’t expecting a full proposal or business plan that same day. The prospective client simply wants to know that their request has been heard and you are looking into various solutions for them. If they are asking for a proposal or outline that same day, chances are they’re going to be unreasonable throughout the project so you may want to reconsider taking them on. Becasue what seems like a great payday at the beginning will drag you and your company down pretty quickly. If a client is unreasonable from the start, there’s no sense in thinking that will change the further along you go.
So be quick and responsive to all incoming requests. Send the client a quick email or text, “thank you for your email, we are looking through your requests and will have some solutions for you by EOD…” Avoid impersonal auto-responses at all costs. Good clients understand that you may need to do a bit of research in order to find the best solutions. But most importantly, it gives you the time you need to put your team together and work out your costs.