From prospects, clients, vendors, employees and alike, efficiently following up is key to your business. For some people following up is second nature because they are extremely organized. For others, like me, following up can be difficult.
Here are some techniques you can use to improve your follow up. Implementing these will have an immediate impact on your sales, employee retention, productivity, and stress level.
Calendar everything: From posting on social media to lunch breaks, put everything on your calendar. We typically put the obvious tasks on our calendar like meetings and project due dates, but we miss carving out time in our day to do all the other things that need to get done. When you put it on your calendar, you are also creating a task list of things that need to get done. Consider that a bonus of this activity.
Check your calendar every morning: Before you open your email, or even think about sending a text, stop and look at your calendar. If you get into the habit of first checking your calendar every morning you will start your day knowing what activities need to be completed.
Learn to say “no”: It is so easy to say “yes”, and so difficult to deliver on everything we commit to. Get into the habit of saying “no” first. Really you are giving yourself a moment to think before you commit to something. The result is you will have less to do and more focus on the tasks you have committed to. This makes your ability to follow through a lot easier.
Set better expectations: Avoid using vague terms to set expectations for what you are going to accomplish. Instead of saying “early next week”, look at your calendar, and say “Tuesday by 3:30 p.m.” Build padding into your expectations. If you could complete the task by tomorrow at noon, give yourself until 5 p.m. or even the next day. This will help you complete tasks on time while allowing you to over deliver on your promises with occasional early delivery.
Create a central location for tasks: There are lots of people that have Post-It notes of tasks and note pads of to-dos while using their outlook calendar for meetings. Bringing everything into one central location will help you avoid missing items and get a realistic perspective on how much time you have in your schedule.
When you improve your follow through, you improve your business.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.