Friday, August 21, 2009

Performance & Success Advice Blog Post # 16 - Follow-up!

This blog post comes with good reason, as you will soon see.

Before I get into the reason, let’s dive into the book definition of follow-up.

  1. A continuation or repetition of something that has already been started or done
  2. A piece of work that builds on or exploits the success of earlier work

Combining the two definitions, we get what I would describe to be the business definition of follow-up.  Continuing something that has already been started to exploit its success. 

Now let’s analyze this definition in the context of a business opportunity being presented to you.  By initially expressing interest, the potential for you to capitalize on this opportunity begins.  Notice how I underlined the word potential to emphasize that it has the capacity to develop into something, but you need to exploit it!  In order for you to actually take advantage of the opportunity, you need to follow-up on it by:

  • Continuing to express interest
  • Showing how bad you want it AND
  • Being willing to take the steps necessary to make it happen 

I bet you are probably burning to know what my inspiration is for this blog post, so I won’t keep you waiting.  To fully understand what I am about to tell you I have to preface this by telling you the following two things.  First, my goal in life is to help people become successful.  Second, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I am really well connected in the business community. 

When you put the two together, it makes sense that I always offer up my connections to anyone that stands to benefit from them.  Why am I telling you this?  There is a keyword in that statement – I always offer my connections.  Every time I find out someone would benefit from a connection of mine, I hand him or her a business card of mine and say, “send me an e-mail and I will call that person and connect the two of you.”  The shocking part is, as much interest as people have when I tell them I can help them, those who actually follow-up and e-mail me are slim to none. 

The moral of this story is quite simple.  It is one thing to be interested in an opportunity.  It is a whole different story to follow-up on it.  The thing that separates successful people from other people is the act of the follow-up

My business partner, Dr. Jeff Magee, is an International Speaker, the publisher of over 20 business books, 4 of which are best selling novels, a consultant to 36 out of the Fortune100 firms, a business coach, and the publisher of the Performance Magazine – the bottom line is, he is very successful.  The other night, I told him about all the people that I offered to connect with professionals in their field of interest who never followed up with me.  We both got a good laugh at the fact that out of all the people that express interest in contacting us for opportunities, those who actually follow-up are few and far between.  He said something like out of the thousands of people he speaks to who express interest in contacting him, maybe one or two actually follow-up.  What does this tell you? 

I cannot stress this enough…FOLLOW-UP!!  

Follow-up when…

  • You meet someone new
  • Someone tells you about an opportunity
  • After you go on an interview
  • Someone does something nice for you
  • You want to show someone you care
  • Just to get in the habit of Following-up! 

*TIP*  I’ll let you in on a little secret that not enough people do.  Follow-up with a hand written thank you card!  It’s simple, it’s easy, and it makes a statement about who you are.  It doesn’t take much time at all to write out a note, throw a stamp on it, and drop it in the mail and the impression it leaves is priceless.

Questions?  Comments?  Blog with me!

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