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It’s the moment of truth. You’ve talked to the prospective client, told them what you can do to help them, answered their questions, and quoted a fee. Will they become your next new client? 

One way to find out: hand them your retainer agreement and a pen (or your tablet and a stylus) and tell them where to put their signature. 

And say nothing.

Actually, I like to give them authorizations and other documents to sign first, to get them in the habit of signing. Then the retainer.

But there’s something you can say to them before you hand them the paperwork to find out if they’re ready (or you have more work to do). 

Ask them, “Are you ready to get started?”

If they’re aren’t, if they need more information or have a reason they’re not ready, you want them to tell you. It’s called an objection, and when you get one, you know what you need to say or do to get them to move forward.

Another option, instead of asking if they’re ready, assume they are (and make them tell you they’re not). One way to do that is to ask, “Would you like me to get things started today or the first of next week?”

Either way, it means they want you to go ahead. But they still may ask more questions or offer more objections.

Answer these, keep asking about getting started, and eventually, you’ll get a yes or a no.

What if it’s a no?

Don’t push, negotiate, or try to scare them. That’s bad posture and isn’t going to help.

Instead, you simply say, “okay,” and ask, “Do you mind if I stay in touch?”

That’s good posture.  

Keep your name in their mailbox and when they’re ready, they’ll let you know. 

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