Basil the turtle was gone. How could that be? We’d built a big and strong fence around the garden area that would become Basil’s new home. We knew turtles were known to be good climbers – and good diggers – but could see no trace of fence or dirt disruption. We pushed back all the plants in the flower box rimmed with eight-inch thick railroad ties. Nothing. An hour ago, she was there. Her food and water were undisturbed. Her rock-and-brick shade shelter was empty.
Earlier that day, my daughter Julie had seen a big “box turtle” strolling slowly across one of our neighborhood streets. “I rescued a turtle,” she proudly declared as she skipped into the kitchen. “I’ve always wanted a turtle, but dad said he didn’t want anymore pets in the house.”
“Let me see him,” I said. He was actually kind of cute. We decided to go next door to our neighbor’s house and ask for advice. After all, Roger had a number of Kansas-native turtles living in an enclosure in his backyard.
“It’s a girl,” Roger said as he examined the shell. “Males have an indent in their shells right here,” he added. Roger told us how the turtles he’d kept the past 10-12 years loved anything we’d throw into a salad and that they could dig and climb quite well. “Just keep her water clean, give her a rock formation to get under, and build a strong fence. Oh, and don’t be alarmed if in the winter months you don’t see her at all … turtles like to burrow into the dirt and will hibernate all winter long. It’s not spring until the turtles come out,” he exclaimed. “And don’t be surprised if she lives up to eighteen years.”
After Basil mysteriously disappeared, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we’d never see her again. Until I saw one of our cats snooping around the turtle garden the following morning. Low and behold, there she was. Basil, strolling around, looking just fine, and possibly interested in the fresh lettuce and tomatoes we’d set out the night before.
Have you ever had a prospective client go missing? Things are going along just fine. The dance has begun. Then suddenly, nothing. You may have given up at a certain point thinking you lost that one. But you decide to keep them on the email communications list and check their LinkedIn profile from time to time. One day the phone rings or you get a response to your e-newsletter. And the dance begins again.
Clients, like turtles, have their own needs and druthers. Sometimes it takes a triggering event before they will re-engage, or sometimes we just have to honor the cycle.
Share your stories and ideas, about prospective clients who went dormant and how you got them back into conversation with you, here.
Marie Swift is President and CEO of Impact Communications, a full-service marketing communications firm serving a select group of independent financial advisors and allied institutions. Marie has worked with financial advisory firms and allied institutions for over twenty years. Impact Communications works solely within the financial services industry. The firm has two service lines – one for highly-successful independent advisors and one for the institutions that support them