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In a recent new-business meeting, a potential client pointed out a trait we try to instill in all of our employees: the ability to provide timely and effective follow-up. This client indicated that she had met with several other service providers, including some freelance professionals, and was struck at how little follow-up they provided. In her mind, our persistence in following up with her demonstrated the level of interest we had in working with her and in securing her business. At the same time it showed her how little some of the others seemed to care.
We explained that our company’s philosophy is to be pleasantly persistent. Being pleasantly persistent consists of a number of things, including:
Asking for what you want. Don’t be afraid, or try to beat around the bush for things that you want. Be direct and ask for what you want. If you don’t ask, you’ll never get what you want. The worst thing that can happen is that the person you’re asking will say no. In my experience, people know you’re calling for a reason and are expecting you to ask for something. Go ahead, ask.
Be consistent, not overbearing. Follow-up work does not mean hounding a person into submission. Be sensitive to schedules and try to consider the best time to reach that person. By following up during those times, you can ensure that you’ll have the person’s full attention and can make the best use of everyone’s time.
Have a purpose behind the follow-up. Don’t just call to call. Each follow-up call you make should provide new value and not be done just to check in or to meet a call quota.
Follow up when you say you will. By keeping your word and doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it, you can build trust with people. They’ll know that you mean what you say and can rely upon you to do what you promise. The relationship of trust you build by keeping your word will help set you apart from other competitors and give you a leg up on any competition that may exist.
The ability to effectively follow up will show your commitment and elevate your standing among clients and potential customers while ensuring greater success for you and your business.
Cheryl Snapp Conner
Founder and Managing Partner
Snapp Conner PR
Salt Lake City
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