We all get those emails, right? “I’m just following up on….” blah blah blah. YUCK! Can we all agree to stop following up?
…but I want my answer!
Yes – I get it that you need an answer, however, following up is all about you. You’re doing it in your timeframe, at your convenience, for self-serving purposes. Even if you’re actually doing something FOR someone, you are ultimately doing it for you.
Did you know a follow-up is just a fancy to-do?
That’s right – you heard me. You want to check that to-do right off your list and many CRMs come equipped to remind (even hound!) you to get that to-do….done. They even call it a follow-up in their list of snappy orders and in turn, you call it a follow-up in your correspondence with the client. It’s a vicious cycle which needs to stop!
So what should I do instead?
Glad you asked (#wink) because I’m going to give you two examples and you’ll see the subtle change:
Hey, Lisa – I am following-up to see if you had a chance to look at the numbers I sent over last week on your life insurance quote. The policy would accomplish everything you wanted it to do and is within you premium consideration. Let’s make it a point to chat and see where things are at – thanks in advance! – – Sheryl Brown
Now – that doesn’t sound completely awful, but what if instead you said this:
Hey, Lisa – I sent over those life insurance numbers last week and the policy would meet all your needs, but what I’m really interested in is your feedback. Did you have any questions? Did you think of anything else you might need to plan for since we last chatted? Let me know a time next week we can talk and capture your comments and opinions and go from there. Thanks in advance and talk soon. – – Sheryl Brown
Did you see it? When you ask for feedback you are letting the person talk about what’s important to them. When you follow-up, you’re pushing your agenda to get something done and wrapped up for you. Subtle, yet it gets results.
Be a person of action – I challenge you to look at your emails, your form letters, your everyday jargon and see how many times you ask for follow-up from someone, anyone. Think about it from the client or even your employees’ position, too. If they received correspondence asking for their feedback, would it make them feel like they are part of the process and want to partner with you? Little tweaks in your process can be all you need to get the job done!