May 16, 2018
You’ve had long, loooooooong chats on the phone and through messenger, she’s confided all her hopes and plans for the future to you, and you just know this feels… right! *que the romantic music* You’ve never connected with anyone like this before.
After a few coffee dates and some intense heart-to-heart sessions, you both agree that it’s time to take the next step – signing a contract!
Wait, wait… what?! Nope, this isn’t your latest swipe-right from Tinder, this is the unicorn client you’ve been dreaming about ever since picking a cute business name and launching your first embarrassing website (the one better lost in the annals of the Wayback Machine).
Okay, flowery sentiments and dreamy Insta filters aside, I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about… there’s nothing quite like the rush of making contact with a real, live version of your ideal client. You’re chomping at the bit to work with them, they’re gushing about your work and talking long-term agreements… so you start trying to seal the deal…
… and never hear from them again. Poof!
Ugh, how depressing. How could such a promising client relationship go so wrong?
Listen, I feel you. I’ve had more than a few potential clients who have ghosted on me. It’s never fun, and after I’ve crawled out of the dark pit of no-one-will-ever-want-to-hire-me-again-despair, the big question is always, “Why did this happen, and how can I prevent it from happening again?”
Well, there’s always the normal excuse for clients like these, “life happens,” and sometimes that’s legitimately true. But there’s a couple other – entirely preventable – reasons that your client may have disappeared.
Yes, it’s hard staying on top of eleventy-billion things as a small business entrepreneur, but unfortunately clients are performing that same balancing act too. If you have a great consult session, they’re interested and ready to sign… and then you take a few days to follow up with a contract, what are you expecting to happen?
At the very least, they’ve had several other emergencies pop up in the meantime, and your email is probably buried three pages back in their inbox. But it also implies that they are not your priority, and no client wants to feel like they’re last on your list of to-dos… especially if they initially felt an amazing connection with you.
I know, I know, the saying is "it's Greek to me", but that doesn't rhyme with "legalese".
As a lawyer, I’m in the enviable position of constantly listening to non-lawyers complain about how difficult legal documents are to understand. (That’s why I focus on creating non-legalese documents that will still cover your butt. No one wants to sign something they can’t understand!)
If you’ve sent over an incomprehensible document that your potential client can’t make heads or tails of, they’re likely to set it aside until they have the time to review it more carefully – except, when does “free” time ever magically appear? (Seriously, do you have a magical time turner necklace? Yeah, I didn’t think so.)
In this case, it’s likely that your client is overwhelmed by your contract, or maybe there’s a mismatch between the consultation they had and the information they received.
Are you ready to quit spending your time on clients who ultimately disappear? Get my tips for ghost-proofing your business in this free, three-part workshop!