A Brand New You

Helping YOU Create a Personal Brand for Career Success

Five Ways For Fantastic Follow-up!

Posted by julial727 on May 18, 2009

business cardFive Ways for Fantastic Follow-Up
Do you find yourself out at networking events and job fairs collecting your fair share of business cards and contact information? What do you do with them? Having a desk drawer full of business cards and contact information is not going to bring you new business or help you land your dream job.

Follow-up. Most people know they need to do it, but many fail miserably at trying to achieve it.

I can’t think of the number of times when a vendor called me trying to get business, I ask questions or for additional information. They tell me they will get back to me soon and never do. Or when a friend of mine had a few interviews, but never sent thank you letters… In this economy, I find it hard to believe that people are not hustling to get a new job or bring in new business.

If you are looking to expand your network, find a new job or grow your business, mastering the art of following up is critical. Here are a few simple tips on how to have fantastic follow-up.

Be Timely – If you have a job interview or meeting with a potential client. Follow up immediately. Send a hand written thank you note. Everyone emails, and your handwritten efforts will come across as classy. Don’t wait a week to send a thank you. If you tell a prospective client you will get them further information, get them the information and then follow-up after to see if they have questions and close the deal.

Be consistent – Meeting someone once is not going to land you the job or bring new business. Repeated and consistent contact is important. I keep a tickler file which will prompt me to contact certain people in my network. I find specific articles or white papers of interest that I may share with specific people in my network to let them know they are on my mind and to remind them I am out there in case they need me.

Use your tools – Follow-up can be by phone, email, in person, fax and social media. Use a variety of methods for constant and timely follow-up. If you call someone to set up an appointment and do not reach them leave a message and then in a few days, try sending them an email. If you email someone your resume, follow up with a phone call. Mail someone an article clipping, letter or marketing brochure and include a personal note. Utilize social media tools to connect with people that you meet and invite them for coffee or to an event of mutual interest.

Stay organized -Keep all of your contacts in one central place. If you use a smart phone, keep your information there so it is easy to access, or use a contact management system such as an excel spreadsheet, ACT or salesforece.com. Keep record of when/where you meet someone and what you have reached out about. That way when you follow up next you will be prepared to continue to move the relationship forward.

Manage your messages– No matter what method you use, be mindful to personalize your follow up, no one likes to get chain letters, forwarded jokes or contacts that have nothing to do with them. It is appropriate to reach out to say thank you, ask for an informational interview or to see if you can meet to discuss mutual interest such as prospective clients. Your goal is to reach out to exchange information.


2 Responses to “Five Ways For Fantastic Follow-up!”

  1. Drew K. said

    Couldn’t agree more Julia! I think about 75% of those who interview don’t send thank you’s. Here’s a thought – Most of you people out there job hunting should look at this as an open door to get a leg up on the competition.

    Here’s a thought… Make follow up it part of your interviewing/meeting schedule! When I was interviewing I would bring some writing material and stamps with me, then immediately went to a nearby Starbucks post-interview to write thank you letters and dropped them in a nearby mailbox. You could do the same post networking event – and get this, you may actually remember the conversations you had with most people if you sit down immediately after the event!

    • julial727 said

      Thanks for the comment. I think that is a fantastic idea. For networking events, once I walked away from the person, I would write down where, when and any other notes on the back of their business card. But I like the idea of a personal note as well. It adds a level of class above sending an email.

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