Follow Up or Fail
Keith Ferrazzi titled a chapter in his “Never Eat Alone” book, “Follow Up or Fail!” It’s the absolute truest statement I know of concerning business. You can do all the work up front dazzling the client. You can grab their attention and peak their interest. But if you don’t follow up (even if you follow up poorly), you might as well have stayed home. Your earlier efforts were a complete waste of time.
Relative to networking, you MUST, and I can’t say this enough, you MUST follow up. With the people you first meet, you have to reach out to them in some way within three days. The point is to get yourself remembered. You have to bridge the gap in their memory. It should be soon enough so they’re saying to themselves, “Oh, yeah. That’s the person I met at that place the other day.”
Here’s what Keith himself said in his book and he’s not shy about calling out the problem:
“…it’s incomprehensible that only a small percentage of us decide to follow up once we’ve meet someone new. I can’t say this strongly enough. When you meet with someone with whom you want to establish a relationship, take the extra little step to ensure you won’t be lost in their mental attic.”
When does the sales process actually start? It’s not when someone secures the appointment. It’s not when someone makes the pitch. Those steps are way down the pipeline.
The sale is borne people first meet. It’s the first impression, the connection for lack of a better word. Everything that happens after that is heavily influenced by that first impression.
You have to remember that people buy from people they know and like. This comes into play very early on when personal chemistry might be all that people have to judge you. Assuming that first encounter went well, the real work begins. Sure they like you, but if they don’t know what you do or worse yet, cannot remember you, you lose.
So what do I recommend? I want to make sure every contact I meet gets a quick review of what I do. This is usually in the form of a short introductory email. If they want what I sell, why not make sure they know what I do, remember it and get a chance to buy it. It’s not likely, but I might make a sale right away.
What do I do next? I showcase my talents and services. Every three to four weeks, I send an email message on something I know. I’m in Internet Marketing so I send links to blog articles like this discussing some aspect of what I do for my clients.
If you’re a family lawyer, you send them a piece on what to do right after you get served divorce papers. If you’re a dentist you send an article on common dental issues that could be the underlying problem to your migraines.
These should be easy to put together because these are things you know really well about your business and what you do. I’ve got a ton of other ideas you can consider and I make them all available for FREE in an e-book you can download at www.IncrediblyPowerful.com.
But the point is this, set up no fail ways to consistently follow up with the new contacts you make. These will be the clients that pay your bills in the coming months. I cannot think of a more important, higher priority task you need to get done.
Hope this helps!