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Common Questions and Answers
Whether you are following up with business contacts, networking leads or prospective employers, effective follow up is the key to getting the sale, securing an offer or sealing a deal. For those who collect leads, 70% of the leads gathered are typically never followed up on…yet there is fortune in the follow up.
When you are focused about how you follow up, you are more likely to stand out and be unforgettable. Seek opportunities to build relationships first and then talk about products, services, people, or events. Keep your name in constant circulation and never underestimate the power of name recognition.
For most professional contacts it takes about 6 conversations with someone you meet through networking for a professional relationship to form. If you met this person online that number increases to 7-16 times. With all the messages people receive via phone, email and mail, securing attention becomes even harder.
Email can be a great way to help foster a relationship with a new contact. (See the “Follow UP Do” example below.) Too many people have an over reliance on email and believe they are advancing a conversation via email. Remember a conversation is not a one way email. Challenge yourself to find ways to create multiple contacts without being annoying. This is both an art and science yet it is critical for success.
I have 2 recent experiences to share with you where someone followed up with me. One is a good example of a follow up do and the other is a follow up don’t.
Last week I was at The Women’s Book event and met one of the speakers, Brittany Westbrook. This event was set up beautifully to promote networking. There was a fun and informative program including time before and at the end to mingle and meet new friends.
I had a brief exchange with Brittany and she promised to follow up with an email. She gave me permission to share her email (which arrived the next day) as an example of a short, effective follow up.
Hi Barb, “It was great to meet you and experience your quick wit and fun attitude at the Women’s Book event. Please stay in touch and give me a better idea of the type of stories and topics on which you can provide your expertise. I will definitely keep your info handy. Please let me know when things are happening in your world… work and otherwise.” Thanks, Brittany Westbrook Reporter, WBNS 10TV
Some people are unsure or not very good at developing new business relationships. Showing sincere interest in helping and expressing interest in one’s expertise are just two ways to lay a foundation for forming new relationships. Be genuine and find ways to make individual connections. People like to be remembered, especially with sincere compliments.
I received a call from Joe. He said he really enjoyed seeing me speak last week. He went on to let me know that he could create a promotional video to help me market my services. He got me interested in his service and it made me wonder what he would put in the promotional video especially after seeing me speak.
I asked him what points he liked best about the presentation and what he would recommend for the video. After stammering awkwardly he finally said, “Well you spoke about sales tactics,” which was a great guess considering the name of my company.
When I then asked if he had been to my web site he said, “No, I am sorry I should have.” Finally he promised to follow up with me by email about what he could do to market my services in video format. This, by the way, remains an email that I am yet to receive. I am still curious if he actually saw me speak or just called speakers from various events.
Focus on following up with your leads on a regular basis. People always ask me if a lead can get too old. I do not believe a lead can get too old. However at the point when a lead does not remember who you are… the lead does get cold.
When you get behind, devote a day to “Unforgettable Follow UP”. There is freedom in knowing you are the key to building your network and signing more business.
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