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10 Follow-Up Best Practices

Following up is a critical part of the job search process, yet so many job seekers don't do it. Here are 10 best practices to make sure you're doing it right.

Following up with someone after an initial meeting or conversation is a crucial step in building a relationship. Whether you’re following up with a potential client or a networking contact, there are some best practices you should keep in mind.

In this article, we’ll share 10 follow-up best practices that will help you build better relationships and close more deals.

1. Follow-up quickly

The average person gets over 100 emails per day. That’s a lot of competition for attention. If you want your email to stand out, you need to follow up quickly.

When you follow up quickly, it shows the other person that you’re interested and that you value their time. It also makes it more likely that they’ll remember what you talked about, which makes the conversation more productive.

If you’re not sure how quickly you should follow up, err on the side of too soon rather than too late. You can always apologize if you follow up too soon, but it’s hard to recover if you wait too long.

2. Use a template to make it easier

When you use a template, you can be sure that you’re covering all of the important points in your follow-up. This is especially important if you’re sending a lot of follow-ups or if you’re following up with someone for the first time.

A template also allows you to personalize your follow-up so that it’s more likely to get a response. For example, you might want to mention something that you talked about in your previous conversation or something that you know is important to the person you’re emailing.

Finally, using a template will help you save time because you won’t have to start from scratch every time you need to send a follow-up.

3. Personalize your follow-ups

When you personalize your follow-ups, you’re showing the other person that you care about them as an individual. You’re not just sending out a generic message to anyone and everyone.

This extra effort goes a long way in building relationships. It shows that you’re interested in getting to know the other person, and that you value their time and attention.

Personalized follow-ups also make it more likely that the other person will respond. After all, who doesn’t like feeling special and valued?

So, how can you personalize your follow-ups?

One way is to mention something specific that you talked about in your previous interaction. This could be something they told you about themselves, their work, or their interests.

For example, let’s say you met someone at a networking event, and they told you that they’re training for a marathon. In your follow-up email, you could mention how impressed you are with their dedication to running, and ask how their training is going.

You could also mention something that you have in common with the other person. This could be a shared interest, background, or experience.

For example, let’s say you meet someone at a conference who is also from your home town. In your follow-up email, you could mention how you’re both from the same place, and ask if they have any recommendations for things to do or see in the area.

Finally, you could simply express gratitude for the other person’s time, and let them know that you enjoyed speaking with them.

No matter how you choose to personalize your follow-ups, remember to keep them short, sweet, and to the point. The goal is to make a connection, not write a novel!

4. Make sure you’re following up for the right reasons

If you’re only following up to check a box or because you feel like you should, your prospects can sense it. And when they do, they’ll be less likely to want to engage with you.

On the other hand, if you’re genuinely interested in helping them solve a problem or achieve a goal, they’ll be much more receptive to your follow-ups.

The bottom line is this: make sure your follow-up attempts are coming from a place of sincerity, and you’ll be much more successful.

5. Don’t be afraid to send multiple emails

When you’re sending a follow-up email, your goal is to get a response from the recipient. If you don’t get a response after sending one email, it’s likely that the email got lost in their inbox or they simply forgot to respond.

Sending a second (or even third) email increases the chances of getting a response because it puts the message back in front of them and reminds them that you’re waiting for a reply.

Of course, you don’t want to be overly persistent and end up spamming someone’s inbox, so make sure to space out your follow-up emails and give the recipient a reasonable amount of time to respond before sending another message.

6. Keep track of who you’ve reached out to and when

When you’re trying to build relationships, it’s important to be consistent in your follow-up. However, it can be difficult to keep track of who you’ve contacted and when, especially if you’re reaching out to a lot of people.

By keeping track of who you’ve contacted and when, you can ensure that you’re following up with everyone in a timely manner. This will help you build stronger relationships and avoid missing any opportunities.

7. Ask questions in your follow-ups

When you ask a question, you’re giving the other person an opportunity to keep the conversation going. If they don’t want to talk to you, they can simply ignore your message. But if they do want to talk to you, asking a question is an easy way to keep the conversation going.

Plus, when you ask a question, you’re showing that you’re interested in the other person and what they have to say. This can make the other person feel more comfortable talking to you, and it can also help you build rapport.

Finally, asking a question can help you gather information that you can use in future interactions with the other person. For example, if you’re trying to sell someone a product, you might ask them a question about their needs so that you can tailor your pitch to their specific situation.

8. Send one more follow-up after that

When you send a follow-up, you’re essentially saying, “I’m interested in hearing back from you.” But if the person you’ve contacted doesn’t respond to your follow-up, it’s easy to interpret that as disinterest. So by sending one more follow-up, you’re effectively saying, “I’m still interested in hearing back from you.”

This additional follow-up gives the other person one more chance to respond, and it also shows that you’re not going to give up easily. This can be especially important when you’re trying to establish a new business relationship or close a sale.

9. If all else fails, pick up the phone

When you’re trying to reach someone and you’ve tried all other methods, it can be easy to give up. But, if you really want to get in touch with that person, sometimes the best thing to do is just pick up the phone and call them.

Yes, it may be a little old-fashioned, but sometimes the personal touch is what’s needed to get someone’s attention. So, if you’ve been struggling to connect with someone, don’t be afraid to just give them a call.

10. Be persistent but not annoying

When you’re trying to get in touch with someone, whether it’s for business or personal reasons, it’s important to be persistent. If you give up after one try, you probably won’t get a response. But if you’re too persistent, you’ll come across as annoying, and that will definitely not get you a response.

The key is to strike a balance. Follow up a few times, but don’t overdo it. And if you don’t hear back after a few attempts, move on.

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