Keeping Track of Potential Clients
If you're a small to medium sized web studio chances are you don't have a dedicated sales person. That's right, you get to do sales right along with taxes, accounting, client management, product managing - you get the idea. Oh, yeah and you have to actually do all the work and manage to get the site launched, too! No biggie.
One thing that we've often struggled with is that while your busy, you're not focused on getting new clients. But when you finish that massive job and there's nothing to work on - then you're like “Oh crap!” So here's two simple things to keep this from happening:
1. Don't stop looking for new clients, even if you're balls to the walls busy.
I know, your brain just doesn't want to deal with them. But jobs take a while to close. If you're not constantly talking to people you're going to have a lull in business. Maybe they won't even be ready until you're done with your current workload. You never know who's actually going to sign so don't count on anybody's word till they've signed a contract and given you a deposit.
Often times we don't even put a full quote together, just a rough idea to see if they're really interested. And if you end up taking on too much, you can always get some contractors to help out.
2. Keep track of your potential clients.
You can get complicated with this specifying where a potential client lies in the sales funnel (potential, met with, quoted, sold) and details about each step like date and dollar amount, but really you probably just need to remember to get back with them.
If you get a lot of requests through your contact form or people randomly call you write their name down. Every week or so go through your list and shoot them an email. Staying in contact keeps you fresh in their mind, and if you pester them enough they might just give up and hire you. I've landed a job nine months after initial contact just by continually emailing and asking them if they still needed help.
Many times people don't want to tell you no, but I keep emailing till I hear one way or another. Just make sure you're always nice and not mean about it.
3. One more thing! Qualify potential clients as early as possible.
You don't want to be calling someone for 9 months who only has $500 for a copy of Facebook. We have a budget dropdown on our contact form, but some of the cheap ones still slip through. Extract a budget from them as quickly as possible - you'll save everyone a lot of time.
Go forth and make the money!