I often say that “After all is said and done, much more is said than done.”
When we are networking and ‘net-friending’, it is all in how we follow up with the people we meet along the way.
A question I always ask is: “What is your preferred method of communication so that I can follow up with you?”
People will give you a major clue here on how they wish to be communicated with. Some prefer: email; phone; text or social media.
While we as professionals use all of these vehicles—we all have a ‘preferred’ method. Find out what it is and then put in your Information Bank and you will most likely always get a reply because you listened and remembered their ‘preferred’ method. When we follow up the way a person tells us to, we will likely get to our goal—to connect with them again ‘face to face’.
Another question I ask someone when engaging with them is ‘How do I know when I am speaking to someone who could use your products or services?’
Another clue in how I can follow up down the road. They tell me more about what they are looking for in a client or connection. I can then say ‘ I know someone to connect you with or and what happens more frequently- “ thank you and let me file away your information- so that if and when I come across the right person, I will be happy to make the connection.”
No matter what, always take the time to follow up with what you promised someone and for those we don’t have an immediate solution- send a note of appreciation on your connection and that you will be in touch in the future.
Too often, we are left wondering what happened in the connection we made and began the dialogue. Don’t let that be you.
Timely follow up is key and it reminded me of a funny story someone shared with me:
Several years ago a wealthy client passed away and the attorney was responsible for going through his things.
As he did, meticulously, he found a shoe repair stub that was 20 years old. He went to the shoe repair shop, saw the owner who had just started his business 21 years before and gave him the ticket.
The owner went back through his records and said with a straight face “They will be ready on Tuesday!!”