Cold callingFreelancers and independent communicators often agonize over following up with prospective clients. We don’t want to bother people. We worry that we’ll be seen as pushy. This might not be a good time. We’re calling too often. We’ve sent too many emails.

But there’s a difference between being pushy and following up in a polite way.

You’re nothing like the telemarketer with a set speech who doesn’t allow someone to say a word for five minutes, right? So as I said in an earlier post about cold calling, here’s a better way to think about following up:

You have a valuable service that the right person will be glad to know about. Your job is to find that person. Sometimes you just need a gentle reminder to bring your name top of mind to uncover some business.

Here’s a great example of just such a gentle follow-up. Gerard Braud sent his contacts in Canada a “friendly heads up” when he was going to be in the Toronto area in a couple of weeks, mentioning that he had a day available if anyone needed his services for media training, key message writing or crisis communications planning. No pressure, no hard sales, just a recognition that he has a valuable service, and I or some of my colleagues might need it. I don’t, but his name is in front of me in case I do.

Nicely done, Gerard!

Related posts:
It’s OK to follow up
How to warm up to cold calling
Hit or missed opportunities

Image credit: Stuart Miles and