Fresh Tactics For Effective Follow-Up

  • Jul 28, 2017

Shared from Promotional Consultant Today, five tips for effective follow-up strategies from Avery Blank, contributor to Forbes.com.

Whether it's for a job interview, a sales call or a meeting recap, we send follow-up emails every day. It's usually a hassle to write a follow-up email because you want to get your point across, but don't want to be too pushy. That's why we often start with those words that tend to devalue the message—"I'm just following up to ..." And if you are the recipient of a follow-up email, it's easy to avoid sending a response.

1. Share an article or update. Use your follow-up to educate the receiver and stay relevant. For example, share a relevant and timely article that you came across. Or send an update about a project that affects their work or industry. Blank says that staying top-of-mind can trigger the person to remember to respond to your inquiry.

2. Make your communication personal. Get noticed by taking a personal approach. People like to talk about their personal interests and accomplishments, so acknowledge that in your email. If you learned that your client's son just graduated from college, send your congratulations. If your client is training for a marathon, wish her luck. If your client has just returned from vacation, ask about the trip and for recommendations in case you travel to that location. To reengage the person, first identify what excites them.

3. Flex your social media skills. Try to engage with the person through another form besides email, such as social medial. Send a message via LinkedIn or Facebook Messenger or another form.

4. Pick up the phone. And then there's the good ol' traditional form of contact—the telephone. Don't hide behind email. Instead, pick up the phone and call your contact. It's much easier to interpret the direction of a conversation by hearing the person's voice than by interpreting an email.

5. Catch them in person. Finally, make personal contact face to face. If you see the person at another meeting or industry event, say hello, ask how things are going and give the person the chance to respond to your request.

Blank suggests that in these situations, you can follow up without saying, "I'm following up." 
The next time you catch yourself writing these words, take a moment and ask yourself whether there is a more impactful way of getting answers and adding value.

Source: Avery Blank is a millennial impact strategist, women's advocate, and lawyer who helps others strategically position and advocate for themselves to achieve individual and organizational goals.

 

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson