The Art of Follow Up by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Creative minds find it easy to come up with new ideas and start new projects. The beginning stages are exciting and fulfilling. However, those same minds can find it difficult to follow up on a project, particularly when it doesn’t finish up as quickly as we had hoped.
If this sounds like you, then it’s important that you learn the fine art of follow up. It doesn’t always come easy, but it will bring results. Here are some tips to help you with your follow up skills.
- Set reminders – Once the initial excitement of something you wanted to do wears off, you may not remember to follow up on projects that still have plenty of promise. Use your calendar to set up a regular schedule for tasks associated with this project or opportunity. For example, a sales person might put a reminder on his or her calendar to follow up with a potential customer once a week for three weeks, then every two weeks, then once a month, etc. until the customer buys or says no. Other projects, even those that don’t involve sales, can benefit from regular reminders. If you are in sales, a contact management system can be a great way to keep track of all your potential customers and your contact with them.
- Set goals – Having a specific goal in a specific timeframe can help you to stay on top of your follow up. Write down your goals, along with the steps you must take to reach these, and the timeframe in which you want to achieve the goal. Put this information somewhere where you will see it every day to help remind you to take the little steps that lead to the big goals.
- Reward yourself – Reward yourself regularly, not just when you reach a big goal. If you complete all your follow up steps in a week, give yourself some sort of small reward to celebrate. Save the bid rewards for reaching big goals.
Follow up is difficult for many people. It’s so easy to move on to new and exciting things and can seem tedious to stay on top of things that may feel a little stale. But, if you are mindful and intentional, and put consistent effort into your plans, you will find that some of the opportunities you thought were stale produce the biggest results.