How to Get an Unresponsive Client to Respond

How to Get an Unresponsive Client to Respond | Amy Shamblen, Blogging Tips, Photo Tips, Business Tips, Entrepreneur, Self-Development, Photography Tips, Photography Ideas, Art Direction Photography, Content Creation Ideas, Brand Photography, Creative Direction, Marketing Strategy

Ah, the dreaded unresponsive client. It starts out something like this: you get an inquiry from a client who’s absolutely ecstatic about your work. You, excited too, email them back right away to learn more. Maybe you’ve chatted on the phone together. Or, perhaps you’re even in the middle of a project with them. Everything’s set up for success, yet a few days (or possibly weeks) pass and… crickets. What happened?!

There’s a few reasons why clients go cold. By analyzing why this happens, it helps us problem solve the cause and how we can fix it. First, let’s go over a few common reasons:

1. There wasn’t a clear call-to-action in your email
2. They simply didn’t receive your message
3. They’re waiting on more info or went with someone else

 

In this article, we’ll go more into depth as to why this happens and what we can do to remedy it!

 

1. There wasn’t a clear call-to-action in your email

When you sent your email reply (or even chatted on the phone), what did that last sentence look like? Was it just an overwhelming amount of information that abruptly ended, or did you use key words to drive action on their part?

Always make sure that there’s a strong call-to-action, or CTA, at the end of your email. This may be something as simple as “Let me know your thoughts on xyz…” or “Tell me which time works best for you so we can set up a phone call together.”

This ensures that they know what information you need and how they need to respond. If you simply bombard your client with lots of information and just end your email, it makes it difficult for them to respond. When it comes to emails, simple is better.

Start a conversation that requires a response from them. This lets them know you’re serious and are genuinely interested in helping them out. Engage them in an short and sweet conversation—business is successful when both the client and creator are actively involved.

How to Get an Unresponsive Client to Respond | Amy Shamblen, Blogging Tips, Photo Tips, Business Tips, Entrepreneur, Self-Development, Photography Tips, Photography Ideas, Art Direction Photography, Content Creation Ideas, Brand Photography, Creative Direction

 

2. They simply didn’t receive your message

There’s been quite a few times I’ve responded to a unresponsive client, only to eventually find out that my emails were ending up in their spam folder. Everyone’s mailbox settings are different, some more picky than others, and it’s quite possible that your email somehow ended up there.

The important takeaway here is following up. Always, always, always follow up. I have many email templates (here’s why that’s important) and have 3 assigned to following up after a client fails to respond.

The first follow up email is sent 3 days after the initial inquiry. If they don’t respond to that, then another goes out about a week later. The third attempt is also the final attempt—that email gets sent out another week after the second email.

There’s a few ways you can resurface your emails without sounding rude or nagging. The first way is to quickly check in and offer any help if they need it. Something like,

Hey [unresponsive client]!
Just wanted to touch base and see if you had any questions regarding my last email. I’d love to discuss this further, are you available for a chat sometime this week?

The second way to follow up should also offer help, but also let them know you’re waiting on them to move forward. Your time and schedule is precious, and this email lets them know you take your work seriously. An email like,

Hi [unresponsive client],
Hope you’re doing well!

I’d love to help you [insert whatever it is that you do here]! My schedule is filling up quickly, so I wanted to check in and set a solid schedule for you. Please let me know if you have any questions!

The third and final attempt should inform them you’re about to close their inquiry, but that you’re still available if need be. An email along the lines of,

Hi [unresponsive client],
Are you still interested in moving forward with this project? I still have space available, but if you’ve decided to go in another direction, that’s okay too. Just let me know!

I’ve had clients respond after the third email—it’s usually because they weren’t getting my emails somehow. If they don’t respond after 3 attempts, then it’s time to move on. It’s likely they don’t check their spam folder at this point, or, the third reason has happened.

How to Get an Unresponsive Client to Respond | Amy Shamblen, Blogging Tips, Photo Tips, Business Tips, Entrepreneur, Self-Development, Photography Tips, Photography Ideas, Art Direction Photography, Content Creation Ideas, Brand Photography, Creative Direction, Marketing Strategy

 

3. They’re waiting on more info or went with someone else

It’s totally possible, though disheartening sometimes, that they decided to go in another direction. First of all, don’t sweat it. It’s nothing that you did. Lots of businesses like to shop around hoping to find the lowest price—that’s probably not the kind of client you want.

If you’ve sent them a quote earlier, then it could be that they’re waiting on some internal approval. I always like to keep a clear line of communication throughout the entire process, but sometimes that’s difficult to achieve if the client isn’t doing the same.

If they do respond and let you know that they’ve went in another direction, that’s fine, too! Let them know you appreciate their time and hope to work together in the future.

Pro tip: if they decide to go in another direction during the middle of a project, make sure your contract states what to do in this situation. Your client should pay you in full for the time you’ve spent on a project, even if they change their mind.

Contacts that are outside your budget can become perfect clients down the road. It never hurts to follow up 6 months or a year later offering any help to them. It’s very possible they have a larger budget then and can begin working with you.

How to Get an Unresponsive Client to Respond | Amy Shamblen, Blogging Tips, Photo Tips, Business Tips, Entrepreneur, Self-Development, Photography Tips, Photography Ideas, Art Direction Photography, Content Creation Ideas, Brand Photography, Creative Direction, Marketing Strategy

Starting your own business and working directly with clients definitely has its learning curve. What to say, when to follow up, when to stop emailing them—these can all differ depending on your business. What is important, however, is maintaining clear communication throughout the entire process and following up.

Make sure all your emails have a direct call-to-action at the end that drives your unresponsive client to respond. Be persistent in following up if you don’t get a response right away. If they decide to go another route, don’t fret. Chances are they weren’t a great fit for you anyway. Having an email system to follow up is a great way to ensure those unresponsive clients come back.

What about you, do you have a system for reviving an unresponsive client? I’d love to know in the comments below!

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