Follow-through is important in many aspects of life.
Without a doubt in business it is a must for success. Unfortunately far too many golden opportunities are lost simply due to lack of follow-through.
Procrastinators in particular chronically put things off and drop the ball when it comes to follow-through. All too often the “I’ll do it tomorrow” tasks turn into the “never got done” pile. Frankly these avoidance type behaviors can amount to a lot of missed boats!
Certainly we all can relate to these incidents in our own lives. Reasons why can vary from lack of confidence about the “how to”, shyness, simply not having your ducks in a row to down right self-sabotage.
How would you rate yourself in terms of follow-through?
Are you one to follow-through with activities or projects to their completion or let them fall hopelessly by the way side? How about with people and contacts? Do you keep in touch with or make contacts regularly?
As an entrepreneur the importance of follow-through in business is crucial. This is of course the case with assignments and workload, but my intention here is to emphasize the significance of follow-through in relationship building.
How many times have you mutually and enthusiastically exchanged business cards with someone only to find that “untouched” card in your drawer or wallet months later? Or wrote the name of a key connection down and weeks later can’t entirely recall who it was or what the heck for?
Follow-through can take on many forms.
When it comes to running a business relationships are everything. You need relationships on many levels whether it be with your team, collaborators, clients, distributors, customers, consumers, etc…
I’m astonished on a regular basis how many people in business fail to follow-through. In mentoring new coaches and entrepreneurs I’ve always stressed that if they are diligent with follow-through they are already way ahead of the game. If you make a contact and say you will be in touch – get in touch!
It’s that simple. Often it’s not that people aren’t sincere that they want to reconnect – they just lack good follow-through practices.
I’m fortunate that follow-through has always been a strength of mine.
It’s just how I naturally function whether it be in my personal life or business, and it indeed has served me well. After making a connection I’m very often the person who reaches out first. It’s always impressive and a good sign to me when I hear back from the other person prior to my own typically prompt follow up gesture. It sends a message that we are on a similar page in how we operate, both sincere and ready to take action to see where the relationship may lead.
And the place it may lead to – you never know! It could end up a temporary or lasting friendship, ally, referral, or business partner. What is certain is that if no one follows through it will lead to nowhere.
Whatever the scenario may be, the bottom line is a whole lot can be achieved through incorporating effective follow-through habits into your life.
Being viewed as a person with follow-through skills will benefit you in endless ways. Here are just a few:
- Shows character and integrity. “People with good intentions make promises, people with good character keep them.”
- Makes a stellar first impression. We all know these go a long way and can take you far!
- Builds trust. It’s all about relationship building, and trust is the foundation of healthy relationships. Being considerate by following up shows you are genuine and you mean what you say. Taking the initiative by further reaching out can speak volumes and create a deeper sense of trust from the beginning.
- Signals professionalism. Follow-through is impressive. It sends a message that you are organized and have your act together. You get the job done.
With all this being said, if you are reading this and thinking, “Wow, that’s me drowning in the land of missed opportunities”, dwell no further. Instead put that energy towards starting now to establish a habit of consistent follow-through.
Even with my own follow-through skills seeming almost an inherent trait, that doesn’t mean they don’t also take conscious effort and awareness.
Here are 8 easy tips for making follow-through your new normal.
- If you feel shy or uncomfortable reaching out to follow up, remind yourself that all relationships are created out of and start as acquaintances.
- Follow-through can take on many forms. It can be as simple as a mere shout out of sorts to get the ball rolling.
- Techniques and ways to reach out need not be daunting or complicated. A simple “thank you”, “great to meet you”, “would love to reconnect and continue the conversation” are perfect initial steps.
- Reaching out can be achieved by a brief email, text, social media, phone call or a good ole traditional note in the mail.
- When you make a contact immediately get it in your planner or calendar to schedule a time to reach out to them or reconnect.
- Keep collected business cards or contact information that has been exchanged closely in your radar where it is visible until you follow-through.
- Create a networking “to do” file of contacts and connections you intend to follow up with.
- Make sure to take your follow-through action while the contact or conversation is still fresh in your mind and you are fresh in theirs! We are all on information overload these days, therefore being prompt is key.
Remember to keep an open mind about connections you make and what might come of them. Whether it’s due to an agreement, promise or light intention, it feels good to follow-through! Your business opportunities will no question become more vast and promising as you continue to build your network of contacts and relationships!
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