6 WAYS TO DEAL WITH AN UNRESPONSIVE CLIENT
It can be frustrating when you find it really difficult to reach your Client especially when an important project is fast approaching and you need their full attention and approval. Figuring out how to deal with an unresponsive client is a problem almost all account managers and directors encounter.
You email your Client, and then you send a follow up email, nothing. You send another, nothing. You give them a call. They’re very apologetic. Yes, they say, they’ll look at it straight away but still nothing. So you email again, nothing.
This problem is surprisingly common. Yet most lobbyists and PR professionals struggle to deal with it.
Here are seven things to think about if you’re faced with an unresponsive client who won’t sign off material or come back to you on an important piece of work.
- Remember it’s not all about you: Your clients are busy people. They’re running large companies. They’ve got unhappy shareholders to worry about. Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, you just aren’t their priority at the moment. Keep at them. If it’s a good idea or important to them, they will come back to you.
- Call them rather than email: Some of the best managers are notoriously bad at email. They read messages on mobile devices and think, “I’ll deal with that later.” By the time they get back to the office they’ve had 100 other emails they need to deal with. If you’re not getting a response to your email, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.
- 3. Check that the client knows what to do with what you’ve sent them and why it’s important: Some PR professionals are terrible at telling their clients what they need to do with any work that’s been sent to them. If your client doesn’t know how he’s supposed to respond to your idea, chances are they won’t respond at all. Makes sure you state clearly in the opening line of your email whether you need the client to input technical information into a document, sign off a draft letter, or agree to a budget.
- Consider the quality of your Work:Most people don’t like giving negative feedback. Clients might ignore your work if they think it isn’t good enough but don’t want to spend hours correcting it. If your work is being constantly ignored, ask yourself if it was really good enough to send them in the first place.
- Consider the relevance of your work: Some agencies like to generate activity to show perceived value to the client, rather than focusing on the things needed to meet the client’s objectives. If your client’s busy and you send them stuff that isn’t important to them, not only will they ignore it, but you’ll also irritate them and cause them to wonder what they’re paying you for.
- Have a regular time slot with your client: Your clients’ time is important. That’s why they hire lobbyists and PR consultancies to do the work for them. Respect your clients by managing their time effectively. Schedule regular meetings or conference calls in which you can have their undivided attention and where you can go through outstanding materials with them. That’s a far more productive way of getting them to sign off your work than constantly chasing them by email.
Sesema PR Ltd is a public relations and marketing communications consultancy operating in Nigeria. We specialise in providing bespoke promotional services that add commercial value to our clients’ business. It is our aim to deliver expert PR and marketing services to organisations across West Africa in the next five years. We hope you will join us on our journey.