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Follow UP Do and Follow UP Don't--2 Unforgettable Stories
By Barb Girson
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.
Perhaps you fall in one of two Follow UP categories:
1) You are not sure what to do. (Lack of system or knowledge)
2) You know what to do yet find difficulty in doing it. (Lack of motivation or discipline)
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.
Follow UP Do
I had a brief exchange with Brittany and she promised to follow up with an email. The next day, Brittany sent a short, effective follow up. In her email she writes,"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."
The Do's In This Follow UP:
1. 1st sentence: Brittany mentioned 2 points about me she remembered from our conversation.
2. 2nd sentence: She seemed interested in learning more about what I do.
3. 3rd sentence: She offered to keep my information handy.
4. 4th sentence: She wanted to know what is going on beyond work, which is one way to build professional relationships.
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.
Follow UP Don't
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.
The Don'ts In This Follow UP:
1. Do not give compliments unless you can back them up.
2. When making a sales call, do your homework. Learn something about the business you are seeking to serve.
3. When you say you will follow up; do so. This is one way you can demonstrate you are a person who keeps their word.
You carry around a lot of 'shoulds' for your business. I always say, "Stop shoulding on yourself."
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. The biggest Follow UP do - is to do it!
© 2010 All Rights Reserved. Barb Girson Original Work
About the Author
Barb Girson, International Direct Selling Industry expert, trainer and coach, is a highly interactive, creative speaker and author offering professional skill development programs for workshops, leader retreats, annual conventions and teleclass sales training programs. To contact Barb, sign up for her next FREE sales training teleclass and get her Sales Strategies Ezine go to http://www.MySalesTactics.com
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