Every time I give a marketing workshop or talk to a new coaching client, I hear the question: “Aren’t I
bugging people if I keep following up with them?”
The answer is no. The only circumstances under which you would ever be “bugging” prospective clients
would be if they’ve already told you they are not at all interested in what you offer, or asked you
specifically to stop contacting them. In any other situation, your continued contact with a potential
client is not only acceptable, it is often welcome.
Following up with someone who has shown interest in what you do isn’t pushy; it’s professional. When
prospective clients say they aren’t ready to work with you now, but might be at some point in the
future, they are expecting you to contact them again. The more time that passes when they don’t hear
from you, the less likely it becomes that you will ever hear from them.
Deciding that someone has “shown interest” doesn’t require that he or she has said they would like to
work with you some day. If contacts have signed up for your mailing list, attended a presentation you
gave, or asked questions about your work when you met, they have shown interest.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you don’t need to follow up, because potential clients will
contact you when they need you. When prospects finally do need the service you offer, who do you
think they will contact — the professional they exchanged business cards with and never heard from
again, or the professional who has followed up with them consistently since the two of you first came in
When your call or email reaches a prospective client at the exact moment they need you, you look like a
hero. It has happened to me many, many times when I reach out to a prospect that he or she responds,
“I’m so glad you contacted me.”
Your potential clients are busy. Even once they realize they could use your help, it may take them weeks
to contact you. In the meantime, one of your competitors who is diligently following up may get their
You need to recognize that you are much more conscious of your follow-up than your prospects are.
While you are thinking, “Oh, I just contacted that person last month,” they are not thinking of you at all.
When you reach them at a time when they don’t need you, they ignore or quickly forget your
communication. They may even forget your name or where to find you. That’s why they need to keep
hearing from you.
One more reason to persist in following up — your repeated contacts remind people of what you do.
Maybe they don’t need you right now, but they know someone who does. If they hadn’t heard from
you, they wouldn’t have remembered. When you reach out, you jog their memory and prompt a
Any time you start to feel like following up is pushy or a waste of time, visualize the potential clients out
there who are waiting to hear from you. They do exist, and getting their business is only an email or call
Corey Stanford is a licensed facilitator for Get Clients Now!, delivering this road-tested program to
professional coaches globally. To learn more about how Corey can support you with your coaching
business, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
C.J. Hayden is the author of Get Clients Now! ™: A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals,
Consultants and Coaches.