This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.
Keith Ferrazzi is the author of Never Eat Alone and the founder of the Relationship Masters Academy, an online training program for networking that offers the structure and support to put Keith’s bestselling books into action in your life for unparalleled career success and satisfaction. Go here to learn more!
How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 4
“The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by oft falling.” – Lucretius
Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Then follow up.
The fact is, most people don’t follow up very well, if at all. Good follow-up alone elevates you above 95 percent of your peers. The follow-up is the hammer and nails of your networking tool kit. In fact, FOLLOW-UP IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN ANY FIELD.
Making sure a new acquaintance retains your name (and the favorable impression you’ve created) is a process you should set in motion right after you’ve met someone.
Why go to all the trouble of meeting new people if you’re not going to work on making them a part of your life? Give yourself between twelve and twenty-four hours after you meet someone to follow up. If you meet somebody on a plane, send them an e-mail later that day. If you meet somebody over cocktails, send them an e-mail the next morning.
Some tips for flawless follow-up:
Put the name and e-mail address of a new acquaintance in your database and program your calendar to remind you in a month’s time to drop the person another e-mail, just to keep in touch.
Remember—and this is critical—your follow up shouldn’t remind them of what they can do for you. It’s about what you might be able to do for them. It’s about giving them a reason to want to follow up.
Always express your gratitude.
Be sure to include an item of interest from your meeting or conversation—a joke or a shared moment of humor.
Reaffirm whatever commitments you both made—going both ways.
Be brief and to the point.
Always address the thank-you note to the person by name.
Use e-mail and snail mail. The combination adds a personalized touch.
Timeliness is key. Send them as soon as possible after the meeting or interview.
Many people wait until the holidays to say thank you or reach out. Why wait? Your follow-ups will be timelier, more appropriate, and certainly better remembered.
Don’t forget to follow up with those who have acted as the go between for you and someone else. Let the original referrer know how the conversation went, and express your appreciation for their help.
Make follow-up a habit. Make it automatic. When you do, the days of struggling to remember people’s names—and of other people struggling to remember yours—will be a thing of the past.