Following up with someone you have reached out to to pitch can be tricky. I don't know about you, but I'm always left biting my nails when it comes time to follow up!
Is it too soon? Do I appear like I don't really care if I wait to follow up?
It's such a fine line I find myself teetering on all of the time after time has passed from sending an email or leaving a message.
Should I follow up in 3 days? In 3 weeks?
Unfortunately, there is no one fits all answers. I can say I have never made the mistake of harassment, thank God. I know people who ride a fine line of harassment when it comes to connecting with and following up with executives. A possible solution may be to put yourself in the shoes of the person you are seeking to build a long lasting relationship with. Ask yourself,
“Self…if I were on the other end of this email or phone, what kind of person would I want to build a relationship with; someone who has patience and understand how busy my workload can be, or who can respect my time and maybe even my silence."
Unfortunately, someone’s silence may mean they aren’t interested. Either way you need to respect it. Would you want to build a relationship with one who is so persistent that they call and email you until you pick up the phone or until you are forced to give them a final answer? No matter how many emails and calls it take? I've heard some executives say, "Keep calling me until I get back to you." It's because they are busy and they may like to be reminded. However, I know that ain't the majority of how people think. It's a very fine line.
Then there is the pride issue.
"I ain't calling them anymore, I've already called twice!"
Who's Guilty? That would be me. My pride has probably lost me a couple of deals.
I personally like to wait at least 2-3 weeks before following up unless specifically told to do otherwise. Aside from letting executives know when something major has happened in my life, or that I have recently completed another project, or simply to do some relationship building, I don’t otherwise reach out to them. I like to respect our business relationship. Your goal should be to establish a long lasting relationship with them, and respecting their time and decision is the first key to building the relationship. Yes, silence may be a decision.
Tell me, (maybe help me) how do you follow up with people?
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