“Not following up with your prospects is the same as filling up your bathtub without first putting the stopper in the drain.”
~~ Michelle Moore, Selling Simplified
This month ends three years of writing my blog. I’ve repeated the same powers of connection each year, so you have received three directions for each power. Here is the calendar I’ve followed since starting my blogging journey:
• August 2013 – 2015 Power of Social Media
• September 2013 – 2015 Power of Relationships
• October 2013 – 2015 Power of First Impressions
• November 2013 – 2015 Power of Connecting vs. Networking
• December 2013 – 2015 Power of Giving
• January 2014 – 2016 Power of Goal Setting
• February 2014 – 2016 Power of Positioning
• March 2014 – 2016 Power of Integrity
• April 2014 – 2016 Power of Attitude
• May 2014 – 2016 Power of NO!
• June 2014 – 2016 Power of Listening
• July 2014 – 2016 Power of Follow-Up
(All of the blogs, supporting interviews and more can be found at www.elliottconnection.com.)
This will be the last of my power communiques. My plan is to take a hiatus in August and September and begin a new journey as of October 1st. So stay tuned!
Now, let’s focus on the importance of follow-up. I purposely listed all of my previous powers because they set the stage for effective follow-up, directly or indirectly. The manner in which you follow-up, both personally and in business, will ultimately be the strongest determining factor for how others judge you. Oftentimes, you must walk a thin line to determine the best ways to follow-up with others. You don’t want to be so aggressive that you are deemed a pest, nor do you want to be lackadaisical giving the impression you are not really interested.
So, what’s the answer? There is no finite answer. Depending upon the circumstances, you must adjust your plan of follow-up accordingly. The secret, however, is to integrate some creativity and originality into the follow-up process.
I recently conducted a lunch ‘n’ learn for a group of engineers. The title was Networking in the Professional World – The Power of the Right Connections. A good portion of my talk was about following up the correct way.
When you meet someone, nothing will come of that encounter unless you plan your strategy for reconnecting. Once your mission has been accomplished, follow-up with an immediate “so nice to meet you” email including something more personalized in the message. Continue to drip interesting tidbits of information to your new friend to build the relationship. Very likely, the opportunity will arise that you can offer a solution to an issue which can turn a relationship into business. And always remember – Patience is everything. Nobody likes to be sold to!
I gave them a little quiz, and I now pass it on to you. Which of these two rules is most applicable to effectively connect with others:
• The Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
• The Titanium Rule – Do unto others according to their druthers.
If you picked the Titanium Rule, you win the big banana! Valuable information about druthers is available through observation from your initial encounter. Once you have some ideas about the preferences of the people you are attempting to connect with, even if they are just guesses, you can adjust your words, style, body language, and tone of your voice to match their druthers. It will also help to determine the best way to follow up.
The Golden Rule means you treat others in exactly the same way that you would want to be treated, and that can sometimes cause a “disconnect” when you come from different backgrounds and have different preferences.
I have featured Rosemary Kowalski previously, but I am moved to feature her again. She is one of the very best in following up with people. Whenever she sees an article, story, picture in the newspaper, she sends it to that person with a nice note. Any time I send a mailing she always acknowledges with a thank you. It is because of these kind acts of reaching out to people that Rosemary is revered in our community by so many. She lets us know that she cares.
My dear friends, we all (myself included) have precious little time to properly follow up with the wonderful people in our lives. But, if the invincible Rosemary Kowalski can do it at age 92, then why on earth can’t we??!!!
Parade of Flowers Grand Marshall
2016 Fiesta San Antonio
Quoting a special someone when making a subtle point – “Just saying…”