7 reasons your prospective client is not returning your call | AccountingWEB

7 reasons your prospective client is not returning your call


It was all going so well. In fact, as it turned out too well… All I needed to do was agree dates with the client for an assignment worth nearly £10k to us.

That should be the easy part? Right? Wrong! I delegated the job of agreeing dates to my chief organiser, Lisa. Lisa diligently chased her opposite number at the potential client’s organization, but e-mails, messages and phone calls were just not returned. So, I took the task back and went straight to my contact. I got the silent treatment as well…

It’s at this point that you tend to think that the worst has happened. i.e. the client has decided to not proceed – even though they were so keen just a few weeks ago. However, most of the time it’s not that the worst has happened. In fact here are just a few reasons why your phone call is not being returned:

1) The work is now no longer an organisational priority – however, this could change.

2) Your contact is either on holiday or signed off sick

3) Your potential client has a temporary or permanent cash flow problem

4) You’ve mucked up and annoyed the potential client

5) Your contact is overwhelmed with work and/or meetings

6) Your contact is an e-mail person rather than a phone call person

7) Your diaries are not matching

As you can see, there are many reasons why your potential client is not returning your call. Your priority is not to lose heart but to remain visible, and find out the reason for the phone calls not being returned. In my case, the client did finally get in touch and it was as I had thought – their budget had been cut and they wanted to postpone the work until later in the year.

What do you do when your potential clients are not returning your call?

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.