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My Super Simple Follow-Up Method

Following up is such a fundamental business practice yet we often let it slip through the cracks entirely. This can end up costing us BIG TIME in terms of missed opportunities, lost sales or limits in our business networks.

In another post, I shared my recent insight on how following up in business is somewhat akin to interior design. While planning my home improvement projects I noticed how:

Networking is to Primer
as
Following up is to Paint

Bottom line: networking with others gives us a basic foundation, but without follow up, we won't get to realize the true value of those connections.

So, now that we know why  following up is important, I wanted to offer some insight into my own personal process for following up. Without a doubt, each one of us will have individual preferences and needs in our business. My hope is that I can inspire you to start looking at your follow-up systems and see if they are truly  serving your business goals. If not, maybe it's time for an update!

My Follow-Up Process

The system I use is truly simple. I call it:

Chat & Check

Basically, "Chat" refers to the initial communication. Whether in person, by e-mail or via online method, there is an interaction that establishes the need for follow-up.

"Check" is all about “checking off” or recording the interaction AND the next-steps that need to be taken.

It's that simple!

Now, let's see what this looks like in action. Here is a typical scenario:

I've attended a networking event in the city and I've met some new people and gathered some business cards of folks I'd like to learn more about. Some have even mentioned that they might need my support with their business. This makes up the first step in my process: Chat.

Next, I would send an email to those who I'd like to connect with again. It would be a simple email reminding them of where we met and suggesting some options for us connect again.

Once they reply, I the second step kicks in: Check.

This step is where I make time to create notes and details of this contact in my CRM (more on that in another post). Updating the contact profile may include:

  1. adding notes
  2. mark any related to-dos
  3. update their follow-up frequency (this is the interval of time that I want to follow up/reconnect with that person -- e.g., every 2 days, every week, every month, etc.)

Side Note: I use the ActiveCampaign CRM (and Google Drive for my notes) but there are many platforms that can do this. More details on CRMs in an upcoming post.

After that, I just rinse and repeat. My daily to-do process keeps me on top of my tasks as well as my follow-up reminders. Keeping my notes updated every time I have an interaction with a contact has been very powerful for two main reasons:

  1. It gives my brain a break from trying to remember all the details of who I spoke with, when and how we initially connected.
  2. It allows me to be more focused and specific with each interaction and to build meaningful relationships based on relevant info. I can better and more fully engage with the person I'm speaking with. In that way, the connections can become more valuable and more win-win.

In the next post, I will discuss some of the software tools and CRMs that I use to help me keep track of the follow-ups and next steps. If you want help designing your personalized follow-up method, you can always book a Tech Talk With Ada.



photo of Ada Barlatt, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Author : Ada Barlatt, Ph.D., P. Eng.
Hi there! My name is Dr. Ada, and I'm your cheerful OperationsAlly! Since 2016, I've been helping small business owners use technology and automation to save time and boost their business revenues. If you feel overwhelmed, confused, or intimidated by the idea and process improving your launches - I am here for you! Learn more about Ada.

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