Are You Sabotaging Your Efforts to Get Clients by Doing This?

Private Or Public Directions On A SignpostFor many personal chefs finding regular clients on an ongoing basis is a constant struggle. And as time goes on they begrudgingly begin to feel that the on again off again pattern of their businesses is just something they have to accept as personal chefs.

Is the feast or famine pattern of a personal chef business just par for the course?

I don’t think so. There are personal chefs who do get enough clients to keep themselves booked. Some have so many clients coming their way on a regular basis that they can hire others to take on the extra workload.

What can you do differently to break the feast or famine pattern?

There are many things you can do to attract more clients on a consistent basis, but one key and simple thing you may not be doing well that can make a huge difference is following up on existing leads.

I hear personal chefs tell me all the time about people they should reach out to who they think could use their services or who have expressed interest in their services, but they just don’t follow up with these people. They procrastinate.

Does this sound like you? If you have trouble following up on leads, you aren’t alone and you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Unfortunately, it’s not effective to simply let people know you exist and then sit back and hope the phone rings. You must take a more active role in reaching out to people who have interest in what you do.

And why aren’t you doing it?

What is making you hesitate? You know on an intellectual level that you should reach out and make that call or send that email but somehow you let day after day go by without following up.

And the longer you hesitate to follow up, the less likely you will sign-up another client.

What’s behind this seemingly illogical behavior? I think fear may be at the heart of the issue. And the first thing to do to work through your fear so it doesn’t hold you back is to figure out what exactly you are afraid of.

So tell me. Do you have fear of any of the following things?

Fear of success

Suppose too many of the leads you follow up with actually say “yes” to working with you? Now what? How will you handle the workload? You don’t want your life to get too busy and you don’t want to turn business away.

Solution: Having too many people wanting to work with you is a good thing to have. Recognize that you don’t have to work with more clients than you want to. It is your business and you are in charge. Figure out a way to handle the excess. Perhaps you refer them to another personal chef and get a referral fee. Or maybe you eventually find a commercial kitchen to rent so you can service more clients.

Fear of Selling

Oh no! Someone is interested.  Now you actually have to talk to him and “sell” your services. You hate selling because it makes you feel icky inside. You don’t like when someone sells to you. Suppose your lead takes offense too? He may take offense even though he said he wanted to talk to you more. The process of closing the sale and getting the business makes you very uncomfortable.

Solution: Change your perception of selling. Think of any communication you have with a prospect as a chance for you to be of service to that individual. You are there to help him solve his problems and improve his life. You are offering him an opportunity. You are not selling.

Fear of Rejection

Even though your lead has given you permission to contact her, she still may think your services are too expensive or she may not want to work with you in the end. You don’t want to be rejected. You take it personally. You will lose your motivation to reach out to yet another prospect if you are rejected.

Solution: Try not to attach yourself to the outcome of any particular interaction you have with a prospect. Your job is to simply help your prospect decide if she should work with you or not. Remember, your goal is to be of service. Trust that your prospect knows how to make the best decision for herself and in the end that is truly what is best for all. And if the decision is “no”, bless her, review what you did well and not so well during the follow-up and then move on quickly to your next lead.

Fear of Not Knowing What to Say

You wonder how the conversation will flow when you finally do have that in-person or phone discussion with your lead. Suppose you are awkward and can’t think of the right things to say at the right time? What will she think of you? Maybe she won’t see you as a professional with a valuable service to offer.

Solution: Write up a script. Think of all the possible things your prospect might say and brainstorm ahead of time for ways to answer or comment. Practice with a friend.

Fear of Bothering Your Prospect

Even though your lead said you could contact him, you know he is very busy, and you don’t want to disturb him. Every time you muster the courage to place the call, you tell yourself that it isn’t a good time to call because he will probably be busy working, eating dinner, or relaxing with family. You don’t want to interfere or come across too aggressive and pushy, so you keep waiting to reach out to him.

Solution: When someone expresses interest in your services ask him when the best time is to call. And remember, if you don’t follow-up, you are doing a disservice to your prospect. If you never talk, he will never have the opportunity to benefit from your services and his life won’t improve.

So what’s the outcome for you if you let your fear-based mindset influence your actions as they pertain to following up with leads? You will end up with too few clients to keep your calendar fully booked. You won’t be able to turn your personal chef business into a thriving one. You won’t be able to sustain yourself financially. You won’t be able to help people have better lives by reducing their stress and cooking them good, healthy food.

Your dream won’t be realized.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Figure out what the root cause is of your follow-up reluctance and then come up with a plan to help you work through your fear so you can take action. Choose some of the approaches above or come up with an approach of your own and then implement it!

What did you think of this blog post? Do you sometimes hesitate to follow-up on leads even if they have given you permission to call? What do you think makes you reluctant to follow-up? Please share your thoughts below in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.

Interested in learning more about my client attraction services? Let’s talk. Sign up for a Client Attraction Phone Consult with me. We will work together to clarify your business goals, uncover potential roadblocks, and then discuss how you can get more ongoing support to help you get more clients and income.

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Comments

  1. Great piece of info to solve the puzzle.

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