I was on a post of sorts where someone asked a business question and 20+ well qualified people answered with: 'check out our services", or "we can help you", or something of that sort. It kind of bugged me, cause no one asked for clarification, or exactly what that person was looking for, no one took time to listen to what the person really needed.
It’s always best to be the first responder to a question or a request for services. But, even if you are not the first, don’t just jump out there and ask for the sale. Take a bit of time and build some rapport. You have to establish trust before you can make a sale. Your reply should not be all about you and your services. Find out what your potential client needs, what are they looking for? Do your services fit their need or would they be better serviced by someone else? Even if you refer them, you will build a loyal customer for the future, because you are looking out for their best, they will remember that!
If you can fulfill their need, then move on to the sale part, quoting them a price and answering questions. The last thing is make sure your delivery is good! Over and beyond what is expected. If you do that, then they may speak highly of you on the web list or forum you first connected with them and you have a greater chance of garnering more clients of that list.
Just food for thought... In sells, it’s not all about me or my product. It’s about the client and their needs.