Follow up To Excel

Image from Bloomberg Businessweek

Why go to all the trouble of meeting new people, asking to be connected to new potential partners or clients, begging to be invited and accepted to restricted groups of people, if at the end you don’t follow up? As said Keith Ferrazzi, follow-up is the key to success in any field, the hammer and nails of your networking tool kit.

One of my tasks at Southwestern Consulting was to develop the hispanic market in Nashville,TN in getting them interested in the Coaching seminars we were offering. When I took the position, I had no lead, and I had just moved in Nashville so I knew so little bit about where to find my perfect clients. After driving around and asking around, I got one hit. A business owner located in the hispanic neighborhood accepted to have me come to her office for a sale presentation. I couldn’t afford missing that opportunity, I had to nail it down and even if she was not deciding to invest in our seminar, I need to generate some more leads from her. As I arrived at the travel agency she owns, her assistant led me to her office and after 25 minutes on my way out, she was saying she needs to think about it without even giving me any lead. However, instead of giving up on her, once at work the next day, I did send her a quick email note to thank her for the time we spent together and let her know I am at her service for any self-improvement advices she might need. Added to that note at the end was a sales tip that I attached for her in case she would find it interesting.

The result was astonishing. She didn’t reply by email but gave me a call inviting me to come back to her office and that this time she will be there with a friend of her who is also a business owner. I was excited by that call and to make a long story short, I ended up winning her business, her friend’s business and the business of one of the leads she gave me.   That’s why following up is so important, the person can see that you do care and therefore will be willing to answer on your favor. Once the sales closed, I did send her a thank you note to express her my gratefulness in re-assuring her of the great investment she did.

The thank you-note is a tremendous opportunity to reinforce a perception of continuity in a relationship and create an aura of good will.

Here are important points to include in your follow-ups:

  • Express your gratitude
  • Show genuine and sincere interest
  • Be reactive (don’t wait too long to email or call to say thank you )
  • Thank the people who have acted in favor  and helped to make everything a success (assistant…)

As you strive to make follow-up a habit, you will see your image in people’s mind being more considered and your business will benefit the results.

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