5 Ways Follow Up Grows Your Business

flyingby Kristina Brzezinski

Being small business owners, we have so many things on our plates. It can be easy to let something seemingly small, like following up, slip through the cracks. Here are five ways following up can build your business, along with tips to make it easy and more effective.

1.  Builds Trust

Following up with others goes a long way toward establishing trust. It does this by building your credibility and reliability, which according to the Trusted Advisor, are two key elements to the Trust Equation. When people trust you, they’re more likely to buy your products or services.

Systems Rock - trust image

2.  Leaves a Great Impression

When a friend was looking for a new job, she viewed my connections on LinkedIn, and asked me for an introduction to one of my contacts. I happily made the introduction, and after the two met for coffee, my friend reported back to me, “Tara was so impressed with you, and couldn’t believe how on the ball you are.”

Personalized and timely follow-ups always leave a great impression.

A.  Take notes (I like taking notes on the back of business cards)
B.  Add notes to your contact system
C.  Use notes to personalize follow up messages
D.  Follow up within 24 hours after meeting someone
E.  Follow up within an appropriate time-frame for all other communications
F.  Set aside follow up time in your daily schedule

Additionally, personalizing your follow-ups builds intimacy, increasing your trustworthiness.

3.  You’ll be known for being helpful

Whether you’re following up with a prospective client regarding your proposal, or you’re following up with a new connection, focus on being of service to them. In July, Natasha sent me a very simple follow-up email just asking me what I needed help with.

Experiencing problems with my then-web developer, I asked if she could recommend anyone. She introduced me to someone and, in the process, helped two people. I quickly launched my new website, and the developer got a new loyal client.

But, to be of real service to others, you must be genuine in all of your follow-up outreach.

A.  Want to be of service
B.  Take interest in what matters most to your contacts
C.  Desire to have a mutually rewarding relationship with them

 Being genuine in your desire to help others is what makes all of this work. Genuinely focusing on serving others decreases your self-orientation, which increases your trustworthiness.

4.   Keeps You Top of Mind

When you follow up with someone, it keeps you at the top of their mind, so when they’re looking for the services you offer, or they meet someone who needs your services, you’ll be the first person they think of.

Use a contact system to help you keep everyone top of mind.

Using the right contact system will enhance your follow up efforts. My favorite is Contactually. While it has many great features, for following up I use it to schedule follow up actions for later dates, and then it sends me email reminders.

5.  Expands Your Network, Grows Your Business

Building trust, impressing others, serving people, and staying top of mind, all create the compound effect of expanding your network. You will become the person others go to for referrals and introductions, expanding your network.

Lastly, following up gives you many ways to prove your trustworthiness, so when they’re in need of your services, you’ll be top of mind, they’ll appreciate all you’ve already done for them, and they’ll trust you. This is how following up builds your business.

Bio:

Kristina.Brzezinski.PhotoKristina Brzezinski is the Founder and Social Adventurer at UbuntuFuture  where she loves working conscious brands to build loyal customer followings, and businesses that make money while making a difference. Check out UbuntuFuture  for free resources on growing a world changing business, enroll in a free strategy call, and connect with Kristina on Facebook.

 

 

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6 comments

  1. Time and again, I find myself asking my coaching clients whether they are keeping in touch and following up with their connects and often their task between sessions is agreed to meet up for lunch with an old colleague or other follow up actions. I love to call it net-weaving. Thank you Kristina for sharing these great tips!

  2. Thank you for this post! I find both for myself and my clients that it’s both the most valuable and the most easily forgotten part of growing a network. It can be easy to think we are pestering or annoying people by making contact however I find that most people are really appreciative when it happens. As a consumer I find that if there is no follow up I think that the person must not want to work with me for some reason even if I’m really keen on moving forward. Thanks again will share it for sure!

    • I’m so glad you found this helpful, Sarah! As a consumer, I feel the exact same way, and that can often be the difference between me making a future purchase or not making a future purchase. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great read, I am guilty of not doing so within a reasonable time frame. I mean after I went to a networking event. :( September is upon us and there fore moving ahead is all there is. Thanks for this :)

    • I completely understand how hard it can be to do the timely follow up after a networking event. We already carve out the time from our busy schedule to attend the event, and afterward it’s so easy to fall into the trap of jumping right back into our daily work. I’ll typically just do the follow up right after the event before I allow myself to get started on any projects. Best of luck with all your future follow up! :)

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  1. Trust, ego and Twitter | arbitrary constant - […] from Systems Rock. The equation originally appeared in “The Trusted Adviser”, by Maister, Green […]

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