The Art of the Follow Up

“I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’ and hook up with them later.”

~ Mitch Hedberg

I was talking with a friend the other day who mentioned a potential opportunity he had coming to him. Although it wasn’t set in stone, I was intrigued and asked him if he had talked to the decision makers who had mentioned his name for this position. Like several people I have talked to, he said the dreaded ‘no’ and that he would basically wait it out.

What’s wrong with this picture here?

If there is one primary thing that I learned about the work life from the get-go, it’s that the early bird gets the worm. To make more sense of that, think of the “early bird” as the person who follows through.

Business is just one letter short of busyness, which is what every ambitious business owner finds him or herself caught up in. Failing to follow up is like tossing a penny into a well, hoping that the well will make a good savings account one day.

It cannot be expected that every employer, media outlet, potential business partner–whomever–will place us on velvet pillows or prioritize getting back to us, even if it’s in their best interest. (Click to tweet that!)

I am a firm believer in the fact that each individual has something special to share; blogs have given an outlet to many of those individuals so that they can share those special things. In fact, I was just reading a very insightful article about this same concept. It talked about how a blog has a brand even when the writer doesn’t intend for it to have one.

A brand is essentially a voice. Whether someone is applying for a job, networking, or simply blogging as a hobby, that person is working under the guise of a brand aka his or her voice. Further to that, where would more recognizable brands like Whole Foods or Oprah Magazine or Mashable or HGTV be without their overt visibility, without projecting their voice into the ears of the public? Perhaps in the corner of someone’s mind, the person still waiting for a callback or that email response.

I don’t want to get too far off into the deep end of branding. I had to mention it, though, so that I could illustrate my point of the monumental success available to those who are persistent. Those who reach out, those who get what they want instead of waiting for what they want to get them–they are are all artistes skillfully executing the principles of design in the art of the follow up.

How do you personally follow up? Share your success stories! I would love to know.

 

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8 thoughts on “The Art of the Follow Up

  1. The absolute best way to follow up is by using the calendar. For any important task, schedule a time on your calendar next week (or whenever) as to when you’ll follow up. You’ll never forget, and you have the freedom of mind to concentrate on higher-level things as opposed to using energy to remember. Works like a charm!

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