Bookkeepers – What Should You Do When the Prospective Client Says “No”?

You’ve put yourself out there and have attended some great networking events to get the exposure your freelance bookkeeping business needs in order to grow.  Congratulations!

Not only that, you’ve also done the right follow up. And, finally, you’ve gotten an appointment to meet a prospective client! Aren’t you excited and full of optimism for how your freelance bookkeeping business is finally taking off?

You dress with extra care. You make sure you have all your handouts and packages printed out and easily accessible in your case.  You’ve rehearsed your presentation over and over again in your mind.  You know exactly how you’re going to spend the money that this new client is going to bring into your business.

The meeting seems to be going great when … all of a sudden… they put the brakes on and say: “I need to talk with my partner before I decide” or “I need to think it over first?” Does this catch you unaware, like a deer in the headlights? Because you don’t know how to handle it, do you just say, “Okay, I’ll be in touch to see what you decide”?

Nine times out of ten you won’t be able to get them back to the momentum that you’ve built up. You just know that the deal is lost.  Another part of the problem is that, if you just walk away, you’re not going to feel like following up because of the disappointment you’re feeling.

Rather than letting this negative response stop you dead in your tracks, is there something you can do to get past it and keep the deal alive?  Have you thought about having a go-to phrase that you can pull out of your back pocket to get you out of this jam?

First, you do need to realize that it’s okay for people to take time to reach a decision. But before you leave, there’s a vital question you should ask to make sure there’s not a stumbling block left in the way.  You need to find out what’s making them hesitate by asking:  “What questions haven’t I answered for you?” That’s a powerful question to get them to reveal what’s holding them back.

More than likely they have a question or concern that you haven’t answered yet.  They might not even know what the question is.  Or there’s something going on with them that they haven’t shared with you.  They know they need to do something differently, but they don’t know what it is.

That’s why asking this question will keep the conversation going until you can figure out the problem.  Then you can help them clearly see that by employing your bookkeeping services, you’ll be freeing up their valuable time to take care of the things they truly need to be focusing on.

Secondly, you need to give them a specific time and day when you’re going to contact them again. This keeps you accountable for following up and them accountable for giving an answer.

Even if they don’t choose to go with your services at that time, you can keep your business in their mind by checking in at a 3-month and 6-month interval with an email saying. “I was thinking about you and how you expressed interest in … where are you in that process?  If you’d like to talk about this sometime this week, I have time available.  Let me know if you want to set something up.”  It’s a non-pushy way of keeping the communication going.

Pssst…Would you like to know a secret? What I’ve just shared with you is just one small segment of a recent Money Conversation I had with The Bookkeeper’s Club recently. We brainstormed together to come up with a solution to this very problem. Why not come and check it out for yourself?  There are now three different levels that allow you to find the right mix of training and support your freelance bookkeeping business can really use.