Are You a Pest If You Persist?

Running a business is often times all about the numbers, the more inquiry you get the more clients get to sign up. After each inquiry the ball turns to your court, but do you find yourself asking “Am I being a pest or persistent?” That is going to be our topic for today! Watch the video and let us see when is the right time to follow up and when should you stop.

Today, we’re going to be talking about, you know, are you being a pest, or are you simply persisting in your follow-up and the reason I’m talking about this, I will tell you in a moment.

But first of all, for those of you who haven’t met me before, my name is Una Doyle, I’m the founder of Creativeflow.tv and I’m a business coach for creators and their teams and so really what I’m all about is helping creators to become creative entrepreneurs and creative leaders, so that they can be happy, healthy and wealthy, ’cause I know that you all want to be doing work that you’re proud of, yet you also want to have a life, even though we can be a bit workaholic sometimes, but you know, we want to have the choice about when we work and making sure that we’re achieving our ambitions.

OK, so today’s topic, Pest or Persistence, which is it? OK, so the reason why I’m talking about this is I was at an event last week and somebody was talking about, “Oh yes, follow up with this person, that I told you about, “they’ve just been really busy, “so that’s why they haven’t responded to you,” and I said, “Look, until somebody says to you, “go away or no, or yes, ideally, “then you know, you ought not be stopping to follow up,” and they said, “Well yeah, but I don’t wanna be a pest,” so I poured over some of the conversations that I’d had with clients, I thought, “Yeah, it’ll be really useful to have some distinctions, “some criteria as to how to know, you know, “which are you being,” and obviously none of us want to be a pest, I don’t want to be a pest, I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be either, so, and I just thought it was really important, because when you do persist in following up, then you will reap the rewards.

I had a client do this recently, where he kept coming up and I’ve, you know, and I kept saying, “Yes, keep going, keep going “and make sure that you are following up,” and they did end up winning a really big contract and at a higher price, because I was pushing them to put their prices up, so they won a big contract at a higher price, than they previously would have put and so it really is worth your while to do that follow up. So I’ll put the link later to that Facebook Live, where I talked about that as well. So why is it that people don’t follow up? I mean, apart from kind of not wanting to be a pest, you know,

What’s the impact of you not following up? Well, you know clearly, that is going to reduce your sales, OK, so if you’re not as persistent as you could be, if you’re not following up, then that is going to have an impact on your sales and you know, more importantly than that, it means that you’re not getting to help your ideal customer, so whatever the benefits are that they get from your product or service, then they’re missing out, if you don’t follow up and you know, they might even think that you’re not interested in working with them, you know, sometimes if you, you know, because the fact is life gets in the way and how many times have you ever thought in the car, in the shower, while you’re in the middle of a movie, you know, whatever it is and you’ve thought, “Oh yeah, I never got back to so-and-so.” look, it happens to all of us, so you know, if you were to look at it that you were doing them a favour, then that’s a completely different approach, isn’t it and you know, as you may be aware, it can take from seven to 10, in fact I believe that number has even gone higher, it may be seven till 12 or nine till 12, but it takes many, many points of contact with somebody, before they’re ready to purchase from you, OK.

So the thing is, is that it’s, and I know for a lot of creators, like so many of you say to me, “Oh, well I, well I’m not, I’m not…” What’s the word? I can’t even think of the word now, mercenary, no, not mercenary, materialistic, so you know, I know that you wanna do work, that you are proud of and I know you wanna do work, that you’re well-paid for and I know that money isn’t the only object, but the thing is, if you don’t get the sales in, then you’re not getting to share your work with that wider audience. You’re also putting yourself under stress and worry, OK, if you’re not making enough to pay the bills, or not making enough to live the life, that you want to lead, where you’re able to invest in yourself, where you’re able to spend really good quality time with your friends and family, where you’re able to pursue hobbies and interests and travel and you know, be, have different kinds of education, that will just enrich your life really and if you don’t have enough sales coming in, then that’s actually the impact of that.

So, let me give you some criteria and then just before we finish, I’m also going to give you a really good tip to make sure that you’re never in the situation of not knowing as well.

So, here’s some criteria, so number one, have they raised their hand, have they gone, “Yes, I wanna hear from you.” Now, this might be that they’ve opted into your newsletter, that they’ve asked, you know, they’ve said, “Yes, send me this information,” maybe they have, maybe they’re a referral, I mean, this was the situation last week, somebody had been referred and they hadn’t had a response, so they weren’t sure whether to keep following up or not, so if they’ve raised the hands, then they have expressed a level of interest, so if they’ve expressed a level of interest, then you definitely want to keep communicating with them, but depending on what kind of level of interest and where you’ve got to in the relationship, that will depend on how you communicate with them. So for instance, have they actually said, “Yes, I’m interested in X, Y, Z product or service,” and you’ve actually had a conversation about it, have you, you know, did you actually agree for you to follow up with them, so you’ve had some sort of meeting and discussion and they’ve said, “I wanna go and talk to so-and-so,” or, “Yes, send me the information and I will look at it,” and have you actually invited them to buy, OK, so this is obviously right at, you know, well, the beginning of your relationship as a client, but you know, the end of the sales funnel, so to speak, where have you actually invited them to purchase from you, where either that’s in a meeting, you know, in a conversation or perhaps you’ve, you know, sent it through a proposal or quote, but you know, a sale’s an actual buying decision is about to be made.

So, the thing is that the further along they are, then the more kind of specific and persistent I would suggest that you be. If somebody has kind of raised the hand and said, “Well, yeah, I’d kind of like to know “a bit more about this topic, “you know, like in your newsletter,” then by all means, keep adding value by you know, by giving them educational content, that positions you as an expert in your field and also is helping them and of course, you want to be, you know, making offers in there for people to communicate with you, to have a meeting, to buy something, you know, it’s not just give, give, give, you need to be making the ask as well.

Sometimes people, they might have been on your website and looked around and they’re looking at the blog post, or they’re watching the Lives or whatever, and they might not realise what exactly it is that you offer, so you know, don’t assume that people understand all of this as well as you do. Obviously the clearer kind of sales structure and sales funnel, that you have in your business, then the easier it is to make all this work for you. So, but if you’ve actually had a conversation about them buying from you, then you know, you definitely want to be following up. If someone has referred you, someone has said, “Yes, that person can contact me,” keep following up and you know, if you’re being a pest in those situations, they will say, “I’ve changed my mind,” and you know, and that’s absolutely fine and I’m just gonna bring up actually, I had a fantastic email today and I just thought this was perfect, considering the topic we were talking about today, so this is where I’m looking at a specific payment processor for my clients, ’cause I wanna be able to take payments over the phone and I do a lot of direct debit stuff and kind of just redirecting to the bank payments and you know, PayPal’s good occasionally, but anyway, so I started a process and then I’ve been busy so I’ve been building you know, the sales funnel and servicing my clients and things, so I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s on my list, it’s definitely something I wanna do, but it’s not as much of a priority as some of the other things on my list right now.

So, this is what the email said, “Hi Una, just following up to see when you think “you’ll be able to move forward with this. “I want to make sure that my follow ups “become friendly reminders and not an annoyance. “Look forward to hearing from you.” Now do you see, isn’t that perfect? You know, it’s saying, “Hey look, “I’m nudging you, I’m nudging you, I’m nudging you, “but I don’t wanna be a pest, so I’m kind of saying, “well, you know, is this helpful?” If I had decided I was no longer interested, I could just do a quick reply, going, “Thank you, I don’t wanna pursue this any more,” and then I know they’ll stop emailing me, but you know, they haven’t been rude or aggressive, or anything like that, so what you do need to do is make sure that you adjust your communication to you know, to make sure that is appropriate for the situation, that you are in and one of the key ways of being able to do this as well is to always agree a next step, OK, so this is the tip, that I said, to help you to not be wondering, so you’ve got some criteria to think about, but this one tip is always agree a next step and if people say to me, “Oh, well I just wanna have a think about this,” number one, you also want to find out well, what is it that they want to think about? Make sure you’re asking the right questions, because sometimes people will say, “I wanna think about it,” and it just means they’re not interested and that’s fine, but you know, you wanna know, ’cause you don’t wanna be wasting your precious time, and your time is so valuable, you do not want to be wasting it following up with people, who aren’t interested and just one other thing as well, is make sure you are looking out for bad behaviour, okay, people who actually would not make good clients, even if they did give you the business.

So if somebody is continually putting you off and not making you a priority, then you might want to think twice about whether you want to do business with them, OK. So you know, particularly if you’ve had a good amount of interaction and then all of a sudden, that they’re just not responding and things and a simple message like, “Hey look, are you still looking to do this? “You know, if not, let me know, “and I’ll stop messaging you,” you know, whatever it might be, and then it’s, they might just reply, “No,” and that’s OK, you know, don’t take it personally obviously then they’re just not the right client for you and this is the thing is that, do you know what, when you have enough of the right clients, enough of the right leads, enough of the right people putting up their hand to say, “Hey, yeah, I’m interested in what you have here,” it’s easier and easier to not be attached to any outcome, OK, so that when you’re following up, you can make sure that you are coming from a place of you know, detachment, coming from a place of, “I want what’s best for you, “so you know, if you wanna go ahead, great, “if you don’t, that’s no problem, just let me know, “and by the way, you know, why would that be?” because sometimes people, they’re just, you know, they have some, will answer questions in their minds.

Now obviously with the right sales approach, you can answer those questions, as part of your process and that will definitely increase the number of clients, that you bring on and also make sure you’re bringing on the right kind of clients as well.

OK, I’m gonna wrap that up now, so thank you very much to everybody who has joined Live and also thank you to replay viewers, please you know, share, like, comment, I would love to answer your questions. I’ve run out of time though today, but if you wanna pop any questions in the Comments, I’ll be happy to answer them, I will get a little notification saying to come back. So, I’ve just noticed some people just joining us, I’m afraid we’re wrapping up now, but it’ll be posted in a few minutes and you can watch it then. OK, so before I go, if you’ve found value in what you’ve experienced here today, then I would invite you to come and have a call with me, so I’ve popped a link in the Comments, where you can book an introductory call with me. There’s no charge and it’s just a 15 minutes to kind of, “Look, let’s have a quick chat “about what is it that you’re looking to achieve “and what are you doing about that?” and I guarantee you, I’ll be able to help you with you know, some tip or an insight or a strategy, that will help you towards that and yeah, so book that, I’d love to have a conversation with you and yeah, that’s it.

So this is happening every week, 4:30 on a Wednesday, UK time, so that’s GMT and that’s 11:30 a.m. EST, so if you have any questions, pop them in the Comments and I’ll be happy to address them later. OK, have a fantastic week and remember, be persistent. Oh, and by the way, I’ve got some of those quotes now, oh yeah, are they coming up? Yes, so there was just some that I wanted to share with you quickly. OK, “Persistence beats resistance,” absolutely, you’ve gotta keep going, gotta keep going. Oh yes, I liked this, “Ambition is the path to success, “persistence is the vehicle you arrive in,” and that’s so true, because if you’re not persistent, then you’re never actually gonna arrive there, are you? You know, it’s gotta be part of your makeup, as a creative business owner, you know, to be persistent and now you know how not to be a pest, you don’t have to be afraid of being persistent, yeah. “Patience, persistence and perspiration “make an unbeatable combination for success.” That is a good one too, isn’t it? So, yeah, I think, I’ve gotta wrap it there, but that’s enough inspiration to keep you going for the next weekend as I say, if you wanna hop on a call and we can have a chat about your business and what your ambitions are and what your path to success might be, then give me a shout. Alright, have a great week, bye.

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Una Doyle

About the Author

Una Doyle

Una is a Business Coach & Strategist for Creative Services Providers (Design, Animation, Marketing/Digital Agencies, etc.). She helps them to stand out from the crowd confidently & profitably so they can attract high-level, 'Ready to Invest' clients, doing creative work that fills their hearts with pride - WITHOUT selling their soul or adding extra workload.

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