Follow-ups don’t have to make you sweat. Here’s how to stay in touch without feeling like a pest…
There’s nothing like the elation you feel after making a connection with a prospective client or partner. In times like these, it feels like the future is full of big possibilities. After all, a successful meeting is the first step to growing your business.
That’s why it’s so important not to let this great start go to waste. In order for the relationship to continue, you need to put together a strategy for following-up. But here’s where things can get tricky: If you wait too long your prospect is likely to move on, but on the flipside, if you follow-up too frequently you risk becoming a pest.
So, what now?
By being mindful of when (and how) to follow-up, you can increase your chance of successfully closing the deal. Here are some guidelines to consider…
Determine Your Next Steps
Before ending a meeting with a potential client or partner, don’t let them walk away without establishing your next steps. This simple technique can do a great deal to eliminate any potential follow-up anxiety in the future.
For example, perhaps they have questions that you need to research further. This is a perfect opportunity to confirm a specific day or time when you’ll be back in touch with the answers.
Remember, your prospect is also a busy professional. If their schedule is anything like yours, their to-do list likely fills up quickly. Solidifying your next contact helps keep you at top of mind. Not only will they be expecting you to get back in touch, you can alleviate any fears you may have of being a pest.
Share Your Knowledge
Occasionally you may end a meeting and find that your next steps are still unclear. Especially if you met to discuss a specific topic, it can seem like the conversation is over.
In cases like these, it’s time to get creative and consider what you can add to an ongoing conversation. Your goal is always to keep your business on their radar, so it may come as a surprise that the best way to do this is to focus on the other person.
Think of how you could make this person’s life easier or better just by sharing your knowledge. If you release an e-news with useful info, ask their permission to include them on your distribution list. Offering to provide additional information is an unobtrusive yet effective way to follow-up.
What additional information could you share with your new contact that could benefit them?
Choose a Goal for Your Follow-Ups
You may not need to state your goals out loud to your prospective client or partner, but it’s important to have a strategy in mind. You most likely have a basic sales funnel or strategy that you use for follow-ups. Now is the perfect time to fine-tune your technique.
Once you’ve decided on a timeframe and tactics for your follow-up, make sure that you’ve determined your objective. Yes, you want to continue the relationship, but what is your ultimate goal here? Do you hope to partner with them for a certain project? Do you just want to check in and thank them for their time?
Keeping in mind your specific goals helps you to avoid unnecessary and potentially annoying conversations.
Professional, yet persistent, follow-ups not only keep you and your business on your prospect’s mind, it also helps you avoid missed opportunities. If things don’t work out the way you planned even after your flawless follow-up, then you can rest easy knowing that you’ve still added a new colleague to your network.
Follow-ups don’t need to be something you dread. If you still find yourself worrying about being a pest, just remind yourself that you’re working towards a mutually beneficial partnership. Plus, you’ve already had a great first meeting. By maintaining contact, you’re only working to strengthen the relationship.
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.