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I had the pleasure of reading a wonderful book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It is not an exaggeration to say that this book truly changed my life. It opened up my perspective on the power of organizing and decluttering - not just at home, but in all areas of life. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet.
So what does this have to do with following up? Well, I think a lot about the importance of getting organized and building valuable connections and relationships as I go after my bold business growth goals. As a business owner, I’m sure you’re very aware of how important it is to “follow up” in business. The very nature of business for most service-providers requires that we are routinely checking in - whether it be with our virtual assistant, accountant or our next potential clients. But all this following up creates long “to do” lists for us and can often feel more like “busy work” than business.
You attend a big networking event or a full-day conference. You’re dressed up and packing your stylish business cards. You’re meeting lots of new people and exchanging cards with lightning speed. The next day, you look at your stack of cards, make a mental note to send emails to some of them and then promptly move on to the pressing items on your to-do list. Those emails never get sent. And also - no one you gave your card to has written you either.
It’s surprising how commonly this happens. As much as we know the value of building our network and making aligned connections, we often fall short of making the time to build the relationships that will lead to building our business.
I believe that following up is foundational to building strong relationships and growing your network. If you can re-frame following-up as growing your business - not just something you “should” do - then you may find it easier (and more fun) to make time for it regularly. Here are a few new ways to re-think following up so you can plan intentional time to fit it into your day:
Once you’ve made peace with making follow up one of your essential business activities, you’ll want to know how to make it as simple and as painless as possible to get it done. I’ve got you covered! There are literally hundreds of tools designed to manage your contacts, schedule reminders and generally take the “heavy lifting” out of following up. In my next post, I’ll let you in on my own system for staying on top of following up in my business. Hint: it’s not crazy complicated and makes the process a breeze!
This post is the first in a three-part series about follow-up systems and software for your small business. In the second post, I review my super simple follow-up process. In the third 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.
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