Making the Most of It: 7 Tips to Conquer Follow-up

Shana Gardner, Operations

You did it! You rocked that sales call, trade show, or event, and you made some absolutely fabulous connections. Now you’re back in your office, and it’s up to you to turn those connections into relationships, but follow-up becomes daunting as you approach it. Where do you start? The Maple Ridge Farms sales team has seven tips to help you conquer that follow-up peak!

  1. Be organized.

Follow-up starts when you’re making the connection. Take notes on what you discussed and what you’d like to follow up on; don’t trust it to your memory or you’ll find yourself with a lot of blank spots. Once you’re ready to start your follow-up, establish a task list and schedule, and set up reminders to make sure you stay on top of it.

  1. Be timely.

Don’t sleep on that business card for long; you want to stay top-of-mind before you’re a smudge in the blur of the event. Contact your connection right away to thank them for their time, and let them know you’ll follow up again with additional information. Follow up with the additional information as soon as possible, too.

  1. Be relevant.

If you discussed a special program with your connection, send them information on that program. If you discussed a particular service, send them a flyer spotlighting it. Did you discuss a specific product? Send them a sample.  Tailor your follow-up to your interaction and provide them with materials relevant to their interests.

  1. Be personal.

It’s easy to automate follow-up, whether it’s with a phone script, form letter, or email blast. This allows you to easily reach the maximum number of connections… but it’s also the most likely to be disregarded by the majority of those connections. Decide which you prefer: spending little time on the follow-up and being more likely to lose the connection, or investing more time upfront and being more likely to further a genuine relationship.

  1. Be authentic.

We’re all in business to make money, but you don’t want your connection to feel like just another sale. Remember that your approach should be to build a relationship, not complete a transaction. Let your follow-up develop organically instead of sticking to a rigid script.

  1. Be flexible.

Don’t limit yourself to one method of contact. If you can’t connect with someone through email, pick up the phone. Or go old school and follow up with a handwritten letter. (We did a whole blog about the impact of handwritten business correspondence.)

  1. Be confident.

You know what you have to offer to your connection. Believe in yourself and the service you provide; it’ll come through in your tone and leave a far stronger impression than passivity, as well as inspire more trust in your capabilities.

All follow-up is not created equal, and being able to tailor your follow-up to each connection is a valuable tool. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can maximize the benefits of your follow-up and expand your relationships—and business!