Slippage refers to the difference in price for a stock between what the investors estimates he will pay and what he actually does pay, due to changes in price that occur during the process of buying. Efficient buying reduces slippage. It is a concept that applies to selling professional services, too.
There are times when a client or prospective client or network contact is more than usually predisposed to help you. This can be, for example:
- When you have just finished an excellent piece of work for the client.
- When the prospective client becomes excited about your potential to help him.
- When you have just had a conversation at a conference with a network contact that shows the potential you have for helping each other.
The value of such opportunities fades as time passes. The client’s desire to help you in return for the excellent work you did ebbs as she gets absorbed by other urgent matters. The prospective client loses some of the enthusiasm generated at your meeting. The network contact also forgets the conversation you had as the days go by.
This is one of the reasons that rainmakers feel a sense of urgency about following up. No matter how busy they are, they find time to follow up on such opportunities, recognizing that all their hard work to produce them loses value as time slips by.
I don’t want to overwork this metaphor. Following up too eagerly can be construed as desperation or as being mercenary. But, in my experience, among professionals far more is lost from slippage than from pushing too fast and too hard. And, of course, I am not suggesting that you give up on an opportunity if a week or three has slipped by before you act. Better late than never.
Still, as a New Year’s resolution, you could do worse than committing to reduce rainmaking slippage by following up on opportunities while the glow you have created burns brightest.