A simple follow up is key to the success of any business, whether it’s confirming an appointment, letting a client know the status of their project or a simple thank you card for a great tip from your CPA. However, the “follow up” is really more about perception. By following up with your colleagues, clients, friends and family, you will always look put together, efficient, smart and organized. Make sure you add value to the recipient’s day when you follow up by offering an interesting tip or advice and always follow up in a timely manner. Use the alert system in your calendar to set reminders for you to follow up.
Situations that always require a follow up:
1. Confirming appointments or meetings. It’s always good to follow up with someone to confirm an appointment or meeting because your time is valuable and so is theirs. Taking a little time to make sure you’re both still available will save you from last minute cancellations.
2. After a great appointment or meeting. Sending a quick email or thank you card to the person or people who meet with you will always send a good impression and keep you and your company top of mind.
3. After a phone conversation. If you’ve agreed to do a project for someone, it’s always a good idea to follow up your initial conversation with a written document. That way all action points are clearly laid out and everyone is clear moving forward. This is especially important when changes are made in expectations, timelines or deadlines.
4. After an introduction. Whether you meet someone interesting or someone introduced you, always follow up with them within a weeks time to schedule a time to chat.
Here are a few creative ideas on how to make a chic follow up:
1. Voicemails – If you have to leave a voicemail, do so quickly and interestingly. Briefly say why you are calling and ask them to give you a quick ring or email. Brevity is your friend and the recipient will be much appreciative.
2. Email. If you are following up via email, again, do so with brevity. Always say thank you and give all of your contact information.
3. Mail. Sometimes a card, postcard, or small package can be a really fun and clever way to follow up with someone. Make sure it pertains to your meeting or their business.
4. Send interesting material. Send an article or a link to article that would be interesting to the recipient with a little note following up on something you discussed or a decision that was made.
5. Make it personal. Clip a flower from your garden, bake some cookies, or send her a box of pens because maybe the last meeting the ink kept running out in hers. Whatever it is, make it feel personal.
6. Sending a gift. Send flowers, a candy bouquet or anything else that will elicit attention and a smile from the recipient.