Getting clients is a big issue for small business owners – how to keep them is probably the next most common question I receive! But when it comes to getting clients one thing you can’t go past is follow up!

It never ceases to amaze me the number of small business owners who do not follow up with a potential client. I’ve experienced it myself – I’ve sent a potential client to a fellow virtual assistant and I get nothing in response. If I chase them up a week later they usually say they received the email lead but didn’t think they needed to let me know, or they thought they were waiting for the potential client to contact THEM!

Never keep a potential client waiting. If you receive a lead or contact be sure to follow up a week later with an email or phone call checking on the status of their enquiry: are they ready to move to the next step; are there any further questions you can answer for them? If I don’t hear back, after another two weeks I send another brief follow up, and then I let it go.

There’s a fine line between persistence and desperation!
I once had a potential client contact me 18 months after I had first answered his request for proposal on a VA network site. So that goes to show potential clients will keep your details for future reference. Another client told me that even though he had been contacted by four other businesses, he decided to go with me because I was the only one of the four who had kept in touch – which was just what he needed.

But it’s not just follow up of potential clients. We’ve all heard complaints about the tradesmen you book the job with and they don’t turn up. And if you’re a company who seeks sponsorship for events, it’s so important that you don’t neglect to follow up anyone who has offered to support you. Don’t assume the initial nod is enough. You need to keep in constant contact, letting the sponsor know where you are at with your event, what you require from them etc. The onus should never be on the sponsor – or the potential client – to keep following your business up. It’s just as easy for them to move on to the next supplier – your competitor.

©Lyn Prowse-Bishop,

Author's Bio: 

Award-winning virtual assistant, Lyn Prowse-Bishop, MVA ASO CAVB PVAA is owner/manager of Executive Stress Office Support (eSOS), specialising in medico-legal digital transcription, virtual author support and executive personal assistant services for clients around the world.

One of Queensland’s most respected and well known virtual assistants, Lyn is also founder of the Australian Virtual Business Network, serves as Australian representative on international committees looking at standards and certification for the VA industry, and is a foundation steering committee member of the annual Online International Virtual Assistants Convention. She hosts Australia’s first internet radio show/podcast for the VA industry – Virtual Business Show – and is Queensland representative on the Board of Independent Contractors Australia.

How can you spend less time in the office and more enjoying life? Visit her site or email to find out.