Follow up is probably THE most important thing you can do to generate new business. Some of us are right on top of it, and some of us – not so much. You might get busy with work, family, etc. and days slip right on by. The next thing you know, your window of opportunity has passed and you’ve missed out on a potential new client or referral partner.
WHEN TO FOLLOW-UP
So where do you look for follow up opportunities? The beauty of it all is, they are really unlimited. Here are just a few examples of opportunities to follow up with a potential business connection:
- After a networking event
- After a meeting
- After a social media interaction
- After a referral
- After an opt-in
- Before, during & after a sale
- After a call or email
There are tons of ways to follow up with a person. The most common is probably an email – and it’s the least effective. It’s very easy for someone to just click the delete button and send you into the recycle bin. Here are a few tips for following up with potential clients or referral partners:
- Make an effort to make contact within 24-48 hours of meeting the person.
- When you meet them, ask them how they would like you to communicate with them: text, call, email, in person.
- Give them a choice of 2 times – Would you prefer Tuesday at 3PM or Thursday at 8PM? This gives them the option of choosing a time that works for you.
- Leave a voicemail – “I have a quick question to ask you.” This will spark their curiosity and interest, making a return call much more likely.
- Snail mail – Send a card or note letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them.
- Social Media – reach out on social media. Send them a personal message on Facebook, Tweet a “great to meet you”, or connect with them on LinkedIn.
Keep your message friendly and upbeat no matter which platform you follow up with.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
While you are doing your best to knock the follow up out of the ball park, here are a few things to remember:
- Be respectful – if they ask you to not contact them again, make a note of it and take them out of your database.
- Don’t be pushy – follow up is an opportunity to build a relationship. People don’t like to feel like they are being sold to.
- Don’t make it all about you – let them know you’d like to learn more about who they are and what they do.
- Don’t overwhelm them with products, services, etc. You need to find their pain points first before you know how you can help them best.
Not every person you meet is going to be a good fit for you and your business, and that’s okay. If you don’t follow up with them, how will you know?