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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 6
Issue 7

Stay in the Game - Follow up

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." Milton Berle

Many business losses stem from a simple failure to follow up. We spend time and energy searching for prospects and referral sources. Sometimes, thank goodness, we win new clients. But when the work is finished, do we stay in touch or just move on to the next big fish? And what happens to all those people we meet through networking?

Since I'm affiliated with many professional associations, I make my share of interesting contacts. Often introductions begin with a mutual desire to know more about each other's businesses, and sometimes we venture into brief discussions about possible future collaborations. Then time becomes our enemy. Our plans come to a halt because neither of us keeps in touch. This has been an issue for me, I must confess. My current goals include a renewed commitment to following up, and I invite you to come along.

The major reason most business professionals don't follow up is because we are afraid of rejection. Let us count the ways we might be rejected. We might be embarrassed if the person doesn't remember us. And if the prospect really wanted to meet with us, wouldn't they have made the call already? Plus we don't want to come across as pushy or annoying. So we miss out. Now let's get over it. Let's stand out from the crowd and make those calls. Here is why:

  • When you're out of sight, you're out of mind. If a need comes up and your contact hasn't heard from you in a while, you probably won't be considered even though you might have the perfect product or service offering. It's not personal. You just fell off the radar screen. When prospects and referral sources are ready for help, don't you want to be at the forefront?

  • Change is a constant. When you haven't been in touch with a client, prospect or networking partner, you will be unaware of significant changes in their business. Business changes drive opportunity. Furthermore, as your own business evolves, people need to know about what you have that's new.

  • Keep in touch to grow your business. Staying in touch is not about selling, it's about building relationships and showing genuine interest in those you've already met. Most people are receptive and pleased to be remembered, and you might just have a chance of developing new business from your contacts.

  • Get results from your efforts. Look at where you spend your time, energy and resources to develop business. Measure and optimize just like every other marketing effort. Are you a sponsor of an industry organization? Do you speak at professional events? Do you attend networking programs? Then what? Keep those relationships going to ensure that you get measurable outcomes from your time and financial investments.
How are you going to spend the last few blissful weeks of summer? If you are like me, you will reconnect with people you have previously met. Watch out, I may be calling you soon. If not, feel free to pick up the phone. Either way, let's keep in touch.

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