Picture this: You meet someone, connect with them quickly and enjoy the conversation.
You’re (hopefully, both) actively listening and sharing knowledge. Congratulations! You’ve just had a meaningful exchange with a stranger.
So, right before you walk off, you remember to ask for their business card.
You slip it in your purse or jean pocket, and walk away feeling rather proud of yourself.
Cut to: Two weeks later. The business card is nowhere to be found. And if even you had wanted to follow-up, well, what can you say? You got busy. The kids got the flu. You decided to take on an extra project for a rush fee. Whatever.
The point is: You never followed up.
Now, unless you grew up under a rock, you have consciously heard (and sometimes even been trained) to follow-up with people.
You probably even heard 5 different reasons why follow-up is so important, like:
80% of new clients come from the follow-up.
The fortune is in the follow-up.
Success equates to how much you follow-up.
So why – especially knowing the many advantages – did it “slip your mind” to actually follow-up?
Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess it didn’t actually slip your mind.
What do you think happens between the time you get someone’s information and then actually picking up the phone to call them?
I’ll tell you. It’s a word that starts with F, and it’s not forgetfulness.
Yep. The number one reason people don’t follow up with connections isn’t because they forgot or got busy – it’s because they were SCARED.
Tell me, have you ever gone to follow up with someone, but thought something like…
What do I say on the phone?
What if they don’t remember me?
I don’t want to feel like I’m bugging them.
I thought you might say yes.
It’s actually quite common, and happens a lot.
Below, I’ve put together a list of ways you can set yourself up for success and remember to follow up with more ease:
1. Before the meeting (if you know you might potentially meet someone)
Before any event where you know you’ll be meeting someone, pre-schedule a block of time in your calendar after the event to follow-up. Seriously! For most busy entrepreneurs, if it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. Don’t go to the event until you have this special “follow up time” on your calendar.
2. During the actual meeting
Tell your new contact you’re going to follow-up for a specific reason.
No matter where you meet this someone – on the street, at an event, at the pizza restaurant – if you have an connection or amazing conversation, make it a point to not only get their contact information, but also follow up for a specific reason. This little trick works wonders for me!
Most of the time we are more apt to get back in touch with someone if there is a good reason. So give yourself one!
For example, tell them you’ll get in touch about something they would like, are interested in or have been looking for. This might have something to do with your business, or it could be as simple as the name of your fave local dentist. (Check out my ebook on my homepage of the site “Turn Conversations to CA$H” to really perfect this piece.)
3. Move through the fear of speaking to a stranger
Warm yourself up! In order to get through any fears around actually picking up the phone or writing someone new, you can practice calling or writing someone you know first. This will “warm you up” for future interactions with the unfamiliar person.
4. Practice the Sales Call
Did you connect with a potential new client or someone you think might become a new client?
This adds pressure, I know. One way to take the edge off following up with them is to actually practice having the sales call. You can even “role play” with yourself by holding space (and staying centered and grounded) as you imagine any objections they might have what you introduce your services.
5. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Here’s the deal: People love when you take the time to pick up the phone and call them! In todays age of technology, no one does this anymore!
Sure, you can always send a quick email, but you will stand out big time if you pick up the phone to reconnect. They may feel surprised and special that you remember and actually took the extra time to call. Remind yourself of this when you’re feeling scared, and just take the leap!
6. Nix the excuses!
Know when you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have enough time.” That is just an excuse. Sit with that feeling around what else could be blocking you from actually doing it.
Remember your integrity is at stake. Since I’m assuming you told this person to expect to hear from you, your integrity is now on the line to do something you promised. Your reputation in business is everything. Think about following-up as a way to maintain your integrity and prove you’re a trustworthy person. This alone has helped many of my clients follow-up with ease.
7. Have systems in place to remind you to actually follow-up.
If you really are prone to forgetting things, this is a lifesaver!
I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here, because sometimes even with the best intentions we fall short. So set up some systems that make it almost possible for you to fail! You can use a professional CRM (customer relationship management) system OR simply set a reminder on your calendar. All that matters is that it helps you get the job done!
So there you have it!
Now that there’s nothing standing in your way of remembering and making the time to follow-up, the next question is: What exactly do you say when you do?
I’ve got your back.