How to Book Clients Who Are Struggling to Make a DecisionAug 09, 2021
Have you ever dealt with a client who’s struggling with making a decision? It happens — sometimes, a prospective client receives your proposal and all you hear is crickets. But with the right tips and strategies, you can learn how to book clients, even when they’re taking a while to decide!
When a client is struggling to make a decision, it’s a tough situation to be in. And unfortunately, it’s something that every PR Pro experiences at some point.
In order to stay efficient and set yourself up for success, you need to know EXACTLY how to book clients who take forever to respond. Because honestly? These situations are tricky to navigate….and if you want to save yourself a lot of headaches, you need to know what to do!
Why Is Learning How To Book Clients So Challenging?
It can be frustrating when a client is struggling to make a decision (or taking forever to decide), but be patient! As PR pros, we get swept up in our own businesses. But for prospective clients—especially those who are brand new to the world of PR as a whole—it’s an overwhelming decision to make.
Think like a consumer instead of a business owner for a second. There are lots of big purchases that make us waver and go back and forth before making a decision. From pricy clothes to a brand new car, remember: it’s totally normal for people to waver on big decisions.
Part of why learning how to book clients is a challenge is that there really isn't a way to force prospective clients to speed up. Giving your prospective clients any sort of ultimatum will scare them and likely make them shut down altogether.
Even worse, it can be hard for PR pros to vet prospective clients properly in situations like this. No one wants to work with a client who is going to be difficult to communicate with, but how do you know whether it’s fear of deciding or how they’ll actually act when they’ve decided on a service?
How To Book Clients Who Are Struggling To Decide On PR Services
You’re not alone if you feel like knowing how to book clients who are struggling with a decision is overwhelming. Luckily, I’ve been around the block in PR a few times—so let’s get into some of my best tips.
Remember: what you have to offer is intangible. You need to be extra patient with clients, especially if it’s their first venture into the world of PR services.
While you’re waiting, you can make strides to reiterate the value proposition of your service. Reference recent, relatable case studies or testimonials from your other clients.
After you send a proposal, recognize that a client has a LOT to think about, especially if they’ve never invested in PR before. Avoid pressuring your clients, and provide ample opportunity for the client to read your proposal and discuss it with their team as needed.
Be Super Cautious In Deciding Whether To Work With That Client
It’s important to exercise caution when deciding whether or not to work with a client.
If they’re unresponsive, it could be a red flag that they’ll be difficult to work with if you land interviews or other time-sensitive press features for them.
It’s okay to not work with every potential client—and honestly, you shouldn’t say yes to every opportunity.
When a prospective client takes forever to book services, it could mean that there are budget issues or even organizational problems with the structure of decisions. And that makes your job much harder—whenever you need something approved, it may have to go through a hierarchy chain that takes forever.
Now, if it’s not a big company, this situation is a HUGE red flag and you need to just step away.
If a small client is ghosting you now, they may ghost for payment—and you definitely don’t want to put yourself in that situation.
Sometimes, clients who take forever to decide just don’t respect your time. That means they likely won’t respect boundaries, your time, or your effort right from the start...which is not a situation you want to be in.
If a client isn’t responding at all, they’re probably not interested, and it may be time to focus your efforts elsewhere.
But if you do want to learn how to book clients in this situation, there are ways to make it easier!
Follow Up On Your Proposal
Once you have waited for an appropriate amount of time (3-5 business days, at least) you can make a follow-up call or send an email. This follow-up is to remind your prospect of your business proposal and to see if they have any questions.
Sometimes, clients see the proposal but move on to other tasks without reading it and then forgot to finish it later.
A friendly follow-up is a great way to get the prospective customer back to thinking about your business proposal. With a follow-up, you’re keeping your foot in the door.
In your follow-up, you should provide a timeframe for your client to respond to your proposal so it’s not indefinite long-term. With a deadline on a quote or retainer amount, that prospective client is more likely to take action NOW.
Related: Top Mistakes PR Agency Owners Make
Consider Whether You Should Offer More Information
When you’re thinking about how to book clients, know that sometimes, more information is helpful.
If you still haven’t heard back at this point, send another follow-up to see if they have unanswered questions you can help with. From there, you’ll know where you stand!
If a potential client says “no” to more information or questions, you know that they’ve likely probably already disqualified your proposal. Just thank them for their time and move on.
But if the prospect is willing to engage in a conversation about your proposal, you are still in the running! A potential client who agrees to keep the lines of communication open has obviously seen something they can appreciate in your proposal.
The best question to ask is: Are there any questions and concerns related to the proposal that I can help you with? This gives you an opportunity to learn about any possible objections and overcome them.
At that point, If there is no problem, the client will let you know. And if there is a concern, you can still take the bid just by clarifying the issue for your prospect. You’ll never know until you ask.
Be Gracious, Even If The Bid Is Unsuccessful
No matter the outcome of the dialogue you start with your prospects after they have read the business proposal, always extend courtesy and gratitude to them.
Even if the proposal ends when they choose to do business with your most intense competitor, end the process on a high note. Offer your sincere thanks for them considering your proposal, and let them know how wonderful it was to meet them.
Your grace under pressure preserves your reputation as a stellar PR pro and can even earn you their business (or recommendations) later on.
Knowing how to book clients when they’re struggling to make a decision can be tough. But with these tips, you’ll be able to properly vet clients and make your own decision about whether it’s worth it!
Plus, you’ll boost your chances of landing those indecisive clients, especially if they’re a dream client for you.