For many though, the follow up process can be tricky. There never seems to be enough time and there always seems to me more to do than we can handle. Having taken the number of meetings I have and knowing the amount of follow up I am responsible for, I have come up with a few tips that have worked for me that I think you'll find helpful.
1. The Follow up block technique- Whenever someone books a meeting with me, usually through Doodle, I look at when that meeting is on my calendar. When I confirm the meeting, I immediately block out the next hour as time to do my follow up. This way if the meeting goes well and there are introductions I need to make or notes I need to send for clients, I can do this right after the meeting. This also makes it so that no one can book a meeting with me back to back with another meeting. If I'd like to make sure I have lunch or dinner, I can also block out additional time for that. This gives me ample time to do my follow up and I can work at my pace.
2. Tracking Tools- There are many tools you can use to keep track of your contacts. I have recently come to know the folks at Contactually and find their service very useful and effective. I also have a spreadsheet of all of my contacts with notes on each, and I spend a lot of time getting to know people on all levels. The basic idea is to use tools to track your interaction so no one slips through the cracks. The more tracking you do, the less likely you'll lose that connection with someone.
3. The one click follow up- If I haven't been in touch with someone for a while, my favorite thing is to go to their blog or their twitter feed and just retweet something that they have said that I feel is relevant to my audience. Sometimes I'll leave a comment, sometimes I'll "Like" their post on Facebook. This is a really simple way to remind those in my network that I am still there and looking out for them. It's a perfect way to follow up with one click.
4. Host a gathering- One of my favorite ways to follow up with people I haven't seen in awhile is to host a happy hour or a dinner and invite them all to meet one another. This provides value to them, gives me a chance to catch up, and also covers a lot of individual follow up at once.
5. Give a gift- One of my favorite ways to follow up with those I meet is to give a gift. It may be a book we discussed in our meeting or a link to an interesting video or article. It could also be an introduction or an invite to an event that I think they would enjoy. Following up is about people and the more we do on a personal level, the more effective the follow up becomes.
So if there is someone who you need to follow up with, I hope you'll take the time to do so today.
You never know what kind of response you may get.
P.S.- The next ConnectorCon is coming up! There are still early bird tickets HERE.