“You May Love Me Tonight But Will You Give Me Carfare In The Morning”–The Art Of Following Up

In the demanding world of business, it’s actually easier to make the call or have the meeting than it is to engage in that awkward, dreaded, painful, time-consuming process known as “The Follow-Up.”

Unfortunately, most people fail to realize that it’s just as (or more) important than the initial contact.

Very few people make a meaningful and lasting first impression (just ask your very first girlfriend what she remembers about you).

To maximize your effectiveness and to remain “top of mind,” you really do need to remind the person that you spoke with that you still exist and what it is that you can specifically do for them.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Send a prospective employer/client that you have interviewed with, a note, 24-36 hours after you have met with them. Sooner than that seems desperate; later than that and they won’t remember your face.
  • If, during your call/meeting, an inanimate object or theme was alluded to (e.g. a CD, going to the Bahamas, eating a quince, a sought after toy for their kids, etc.) –send something related thereto, ASAP, to the decision-maker. They will appreciate the attention and be impressed that you listened and acted so quickly.
  • As time goes by, send your “target” relevant newspaper/magazine/journal articles with a Post-it that says “saw this and thought of you.” Demonstrating that they are always on your mind is very flattering to them and will always be looked at in a positive light.
  • If any questions or issues developed during your initial meeting/pitch, send a timely follow-up memo specifically addressing their concerns. The quicker and the more precise, the better.
  • Do not call back on the same afternoon. No one likes a “stalker.”
  • If they mentioned that they were going to patronize a restaurant on a particular date, call and make arrangements to send over a bottle of wine. You will definitely get a call from them thanking you.
  • Send a note to all meeting participants (or at least the contributors) thanking them for their participation. Everyone loves to get confirmation that they were noticed and appreciated.
  • Never ask for business or make a call to action in the 1st follow-up…just focus on pleasantries and humility.
  • You can send a 2nd follow-up after, at least, 2 weeks have passed.
  • Today’s Tip: It’s great to meet, talk and make a “connection.” Everyone tries to do at least that. However, not many people spend the time or energy to “follow-up.” It is a very effective way to show your intended audience that you remember them, that you care about them and that you are there if they need you. Sometimes, doing something “after the fact” can make all the difference. Follow-up.

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