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