Sometimes you really need to get in touch with your client. Maybe their bill is due. Maybe there’s a system crash that you need to explain. Maybe there’s an update on a new feature coming that will really help them in their own business. But what if you call your client and they never return your calls? You try to connect with them for a week or a month or maybe even six months in some cases. They are not getting back to you. What can you do?
Extreme Tactics to Connect With Your Dodgy Clients:
1. Drive-by calls – This is my term for cold-calling the client 3 times a day for several days in a row. This sounds excessive, but it has a great return rate. The client knows you really need to talk to them and they feel guilty for not getting back to you.
When you leave a voicemail, make sure your message is friendly and provides the specific reasons you are trying to get in touch. Ask the contact to forward your message to the appropriate person if they are not the one you should call. Remember to provide your name, your company, and your number at the end of the call.
2. Reach out to other people within your client’s company – Connect with your primary contact’s manager or any other contacts within the organization via email or phone. Tell the new contacts “I’ve been trying to reach John Doe for several months. Is he/she still with the company?” You might discover your primary contact does not work there anymore. If your contact still works at the organization and their manager receives the message, their manager will probably nudge your point of contact (POC) to contact you asap.
3. Drop by the client’s office for an unscheduled visit. If your clients are in your area, it might be suitable for you to drop by their office. Be prepared to share information if they are available. If they are unavailable, leave a message and some of your company’s swag. It could be extremely awkward to drop by your client’s office, so use your judgment when planning an unscheduled visit. Take into consideration your clients’ office environment. Does their office have high-security measures and safety concerns? Based on your previous interactions with the client, will they be upset if you stop by unannounced? Certain client industries might be more accepting of unscheduled visits, for example, restaurants, retail, car dealerships, and social work.
Sometimes clients fall off the face of the earth. They might have been switched to a new position or they may no longer work with the company. Maybe your POC is on maternity or sick leave. Sometimes your contact is just plain busy and your product/services are the last things on their list. More often than not, good clients become dodgy clients when they are planning to cancel their contract and they are not prepared to tell you yet. The best way to deal with dodgy clients is with prevention. Next month Harmoni will post a list of ways to prevent your clients from becoming dodgy clients.
How do you connect with your dodgy clients?