This post follows on a previous post in which I set out the 7 different ways in which you can Keep In Touch with clients and influencers.
There are a number of reasons why we avoid picking up the phone when we know we could. Reasons such as:
– Who shall I call first?
– It’s a while since we last spoke, will he/she remember me?
– They might be too busy to speak to me now.
– They might not want to speak to me at all.
– I can’t think of a good solid reason to call, beyond ‘How are you?’
If you really are an ambitious accountant then whenever you have a genuine business related “reason to call”, I’ll bet that a lot of these concerns simply evaporate.
One very good discipline is to set yourself a target of say ten KIT (Keep In Touch) calls a week – that’s just 2 a day . Then count down how many you have left to make. That way the total/target keeps getting smaller and this can help your motivation
If you can’t think of any genuine reasons yourself let me provide you with some and hope that a least one or two will work for you:
– “I’m just calling to touch base and see how you’re doing as it’s been a while since we last spoke. How’s business?”
– “I’ve just seen something on the web that I thought you might find of interest”
– “I’ve just read something in [magazine/newspaper] that reminded me of you ”
– “May I ask for your advice about something ….”
– “We’re thinking of arranging a reception/party for [selected/ all] contacts and I thought you might have some useful tips”
– “I’m looking for ….. who do you know who …..?”
– “It’s a while since we’ve spoken and I didn’t just want to email you out of the blue.”
– “Have you seen the article about xyz published in ABC? Would you like a copy?”
– “I would like to test out something with you … have you got a few minutes?”
– “Please can I bounce a few ideas off you with a view to exploring who else I should be talking to?”
– “I found our last conversation really valuable; I wanted to thank you again and to let you know what happened ….”
– “I’m calling for no particular reason at all. You just came into my mind and I thought we should catch up …” (works better than you might think – especially as it’s genuine.)
All of the above are just “openers”. You can then continue with:
– “How have things developed with …..?
– “I’m putting together our budgets for rest of the year. Rather than rely on guess work I thought I’d be upfront and ask what the liklihood was that you’ll be needing us?”
– “While we’re talking, what are going to be the key issues / projects for you this year?” etc.
It’s probably best to avoid specifically asking for work but you can end the conversation with something like: “Well, it’s been good talking with you again. Let’s keep in touch, and if there’s anything you ever think I might be able to help you with, don’t hesitate to give me a call.” You must ensure that you don’t sound desperate – even if you are!
The purpose of your call is to keep in touch and to serve your clients, ex-clients and contacts better. You’ll be surprised how many ex-clients will give you some more work – and so will your clients and contacts.
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