I have been in the business of relationship building for over thirty years, and while so much has changed around us, I promise you the importance of following up is more crucial than ever before.
Following up is a lost art that has depreciated throughout the years. So many people have assumed that due to new forms of communication, that there it isn’t a need to reassure others that you followed through on your promise. I am here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth, and that if you aren’t following up you will forever be stuck in the status-quo.
The foundation of any relationship is built upon a sense of compassion for other’s needs. By going above and beyond expectations, you are guaranteed to have that person come back to you in the future.
There is one distinct difference between a professional and an amateur. An amateur follows-up only when there’s something in it for them. A professional follows-up to reassure that the correct thing was delivered and that their customer is 100% satisfied.
Making sure the other persons' needs were met is what guarantees future business.
If you get nothing else from reading this, remember one thing: personalization resonates in today’s culture.
Forget emails, text messages and social media interactions. Sending a handwritten note is a game-changer. “Thank You” notes that are handwritten are second-to-none, and they do not go unnoticed because so few people take the time to do that these days.
Following-up, like anything else, takes practice. Here are four tips that have gotten me to where I am today, all of which took nothing more than a pen and a piece of paper.
- Talk to your boss even if you don’t have any news. Just checking in with them, even if you have no updates, shows that you care about the issue at hand.
- Even if you just did a favor for someone, ask that person if everything you did was okay and if there’s anything else you can do. It doesn’t matter if you went out of your way for someone else—make sure you did it right.
- If you suggest something to a client, and they listen to you, confirm with them that what you suggested satisfied their needs. If that suggestion didn’t seem to work, recommend something else. Never think that because you already went above-and-beyond that just the idea itself is good enough.
- There is a difference between a professional and an amateur. Amateurs are constantly trying to see what is in it for them, while Professionals make the extra effort even when they may not see an immediate benefit.
Following-up is great if you just want to see what is in it for you, but following-up is even better when you genuinely care about the other person.
This is an art form and you won’t get it perfect the first time, but over time I promise you will begin to see the results. And, it all starts with a simple handwritten note.