A few weeks ago I received a message via my Yelp page. It was from a woman who had recently opened a business and was looking in to business coaching.
She wasn’t sure that she had all the answers on how to get her business going successfully. She thought it would be good to have an outside expert’s guidance on what to spend her time on to accelerate growth. She also wanted to know what she didn’t know. That’s right in line with what I do for clients.
I usually work with established businesses, but am happy to work with a new business if I can add value for the owner. I replied back to her message the day I received it. By the next day there was no response. I believe my next step was to also send her a note through Yelp in case she was looking for a reply that way. Still no response.
One week later I sent her a quick follow-up note to see if she had indeed received my first message. With spam filters getting stronger and pickier you never know if an email you send to someone for the first time will actually land in their inbox.
She replied back and told me that she did get my message, but wasn’t sure if business coaching was appropriate for her now because her budget was limited. I suggested that she consider working with the SF Small Business Development Center instead. They offer free consulting to up and running small businesses in a variety of crucial areas. I worked for them a few years back and can vouch for the quality of their counseling.
She wrote back and said that of the coaches she reached out to I was the only one that followed up to see if she still wanted business coaching. She really appreciated that I wasn’t pushing her to work with me, but I thoughtfully considered her situation and offered what will likely be a better alternative for her. After receiving that nice email I was notified that she gave me a 5-star review on Yelp! What a nice gesture that was. She went on to say that she would like to work with me in the future when her business was more stable.
I wasn’t surprised to hear that I was the only one to follow up with her. This is an all too common scenario where people give up too quickly on prospects. Set yourself apart by being proactive and always following up with people whether you’re selling, working together on a project, or simply trying to set a coffee date. Good things will happen for you.