I try to reply fast. If I get an email inquiry, an photography print order, a facebook message on my business page. I try get back promptly. And often it lands me client work. Good stuff for a freelancer.
The nice feedback I get from clients is “that was quick”, “love your communication”, “thanks for the quick and simple response”. Even if I can’t reply in detail to something (because there are other things on my plate), I try to get back as quick as possible with a estimate on when I plan to reply in-full. It’s not rocket science, but I think it’s par-for-the-course of being a professional.
That’s on my side, how I like to engage with others.
But when I’m on the flip side of things, I’m astounded how slow people and businesses can be to reply. For example, I’ve been looking around for a gym and want to get a personal trainer who can help with some specific existing injuries. So, Google I go, find some places and I see they have contact forms. Basically, I’m saying “I want to spend money” and I’m about as warm-a-lead there is. Yet, no reply in the first day. Nothing in the second. Seriously, this is when I get on to someone else, sign up and I’ve gone from a prospect to a lost-lead without them even knowing. Hell, even an automatic reply would be something. But nothing.
Another recent example is me looking for co-working space. I managed to get a guest pass to WeWork, liked their setup and location. I was sold. Checked out their website, and it told me they were almost out of space. No worries, I’ll sign-up now. But nope, no free space. I was a bit confused. One screen said “almost full”, next screen said “sorry”. I decided to duck in and ask. They said I should sign up online, and when I explained the process I got a “oh sorry” look. Anyways, they said try at the end of the month / start of the next month. Sure enough, I did, and got a contact inside to refer me. I got a call, got a promo-code (cool), then went to sign up. After that call, the tele-tour, etc, the place was still booked out so the call was a waste of both our time. Simple communication would have been helpful. A little “we’re full”, but we can tell you more if you’re interested? Anyways, the search continued.
I jumped on Google, browsed the review and overview sites. To be honest, it was hard to find the right place virtually, so I reached out on Twitter for some recommendations. That turned to be a good method.
Any Melbourne friends got any coworking space recommendations? Was gonna do WeWork, but they are at capacity. Hoping for coffee, good chairs and community feels would be nice.
— Steven Wright (@regularsteven) June 6, 2018
I got a bunch of recommendations, as well as some @+mentions of places. Great, let’s see. While this was happening, I still Google’d about. The next morning I visited a place and signed up. In under 24 hours. Yet, several days later, I’m getting likes on replies. Sorry guys, the horse has bolted.
It just surprises me. Business is about growth, and communication is simple. Just be timely.