Ongoing Communication is Key to Effective Follow-Up in Business
Do you struggle with effective follow-ups in business?
We’ve all been there. We meet with a potential client, discuss an opportunity to work together, or gave them a proposal and then wait for them to get back to us. We keep waiting and waiting and they never get back to us.
If you chase them down and nag them, you run the risk of annoying them and damaging the relationship.
If you don’t go after them and nag them, you run the risk of becoming such a low priority that they never get back to you.
Back to Basics
It’s time to go back to the basics and build relationships.
Remember if the only time you communicate with clients or potential clients is to sell them your services or when you need something, then you become a nuisance – someone to avoid. When your name appears on an email, they may very well cringe.
Instead, put yourself in a position so that your clients look forward to hearing from you.
It’s quite easy to do, actually.
First, look at your clients, potential clients, and business partners and prioritize them.
Next, pull out say 10 that you’d like to communicate with regularly – for example, once a month.
Then, pull together another 20 or 30 that you could communicate with on a quarterly basis.
Next, take the list of 10 high potential ones and sit down to analyze them.
Look through any and all notes you have on them. Look for those clues that tell you what their hopes, dreams, fears, goals, aspirations, and challenges lay – and start communicating about those things to them. Share valuable articles or offer to make introductions that will benefit them. Invite them to different events. It doesn’t matter what it is…just make sure its worthwhile to them.
When you are communicating this way, you’re showing them that you care enough about them to offer them something of value instead of only reaching out when you want something. They will appreciate it!
Do this at least once a month for the high-priority list and once a quarter for your secondary list.
What does this do for you?
You’ll benefit in three ways.
First – They will actually open your emails and take your calls. Gone are those missed opportunities to follow-up after discussing working together. You’ve created a subconscious association between you and value. You’ve become valuable to them.
Second – They may feel they owe you a favor because of all the value you’ve provided to them. They are much more likely to respond to your emails and calls.
Third – Continue to add more value in your emails, instead of asking them about an opportunity you’ve discussed. For example, let’s say you discussed manufacturing cost reduction with a potential client. When you go to follow up, send them an article you’ve written about manufacturing cost reduction or a link to a study or report. At the bottom of the email, you can say, “By the way, are you still interested in proceeding with that opportunity?”
In the end, it’s more likely you will be responded to, and you’ll win more business. Position yourself as a truly valuable person to meet with and they’ll look forward to hearing from you and respond to you.
All it takes is adding value to others on a regular basis.
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