Boss Moves

What To Do When a Potential Client Goes Ghost

As we are in a global crisis, there has been an increase in potential clients going ghost. It’s hard and frustrating when you put in the work to meet a new client. Potential clients can be in three categories: the “pick your brains”, “can’t afford your services” and “soon-to-be full paying client”. Out of these three categories, the first two can cause the most trouble. Here’s what to do if a potential client goes ghost on you.

Review Your Past Interactions

It may seem frustrating at first, but you need to review your past interactions to get an understanding of what went wrong. Did you forget to respond to their last email? Make sure you are checking all emails in a timely manner. Send them an email response back to see if they need any assistance.

Did you find that the client only wanted to “pick your brain”? Begin to look through and find some common issues from your past ghosting clients. Create a chart on paper or use a Google sheet to highlight past clients to divide the reasons on why they may have gone ghost or if you didn’t follow up with them.

If you are finding that you are having more “pick your brain” meetings, this is something to take note of and put a system in place to prevent these types of meetings. Keeping yourself organized during this process is important for the benefit of your business. 

NC Magazine | What To Do When A Potential Client Goes Ghost

Place New Onboarding Systems 

Once you find those common detonators, you can put new systems in place to avoid them. If they are only “picking your brain”, add a consulting service and fee for your time. You may use your terms and conditions to highlight this service by making sure that they understand exactly what they are getting into. 

If you forgot to email them back, set up an automatic reminder with a service like Dubasdo or Asana to keep track of those clients. Use a CRM tool like Streak to keep track of your clientele list and all the email chains you have with them. Services like this will help you keep your business activities in a timely matter. Plus you seem more productive! 

A good recommendation is to put a system in place to prevent potential clients from taking your ideas to a competitor. A good system would include creating a contract to protect your creative thoughts, recording meetings with Zoom, and making sure all communications are in official channels like email or Slack. Separate your work life from your personal life to give you more protection from former clients. 

Understand There Are More Clients 

People come and go. This statement includes potential clients. If one client cannot afford your services, do not let that devalue your time and business. Of course, keep in touch with them. Use a mailing list to keep track of those potential clients who may not be able to afford your service right now but can later. 

As an entrepreneur, a good lesson to know is there is always someone who can afford your service. To protect your time, you may want to put a system in place where the client pays first before meeting you. Value yourself and your time with keeping your pricing the way that they should be for your business. 

Trust Yourself 

It may be hard to cope with losing a potential client, but don’t be upset. Trusting yourself and your vision for your business is important. Take a step back to remind yourself why you started this business. Remember all of your personal and business values you put into place for it. If you need some time to yourself, set up office hours in your business to keep your personal life, and work-life separate. 

Get to Know the Next Potential Client

Now that you have these systems in place, you can prepare for the next potential client. Trust in yourself and the values you have placed in your business. This client may know what they are looking for or they may need some guidance. You are there to help them either as a continuing business partnership or a temporary one. 

Out of these five tips, onboarding stressful potential clients can be reduced heavily. People can be difficult especially in a service-based industry. Making sure that you use these tricks to save yourself time, effort, and money. 


Sterling is a beauty and lifestyle writer that's originally from Atlanta, GA. Background in Art History and Beauty Marketing, Sterling loves to write about the latest products, cultural trends and lifestyle brands on her site, The Beauté Study. She can be found on all socials under @thebeautestudy.

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