How To Follow Up Without Using The Annoying F‑Word

BY Liz Wendling
Featured image for “How To Follow Up Without Using The Annoying F‑Word”

Stop pestering and start profiting. Do you want to differentiate yourself, stand out and rise above the noise? One easy, shockingly simple and sure-​fire way that will put you miles ahead of many professionals in your industry is in your follow-​up approach: STOP using the F‑word. Follow-up.

Using the same overused, ineffective, outdated and irritating follow-​up messages

These messages waste your prospects' time and make you look old-​school. Does this sound familiar? "Hi Mack, I just wanted to follow up and see if you have any questions from the proposal I sent?" Or, "Hi Sam, I wanted to reach out again since I have not heard from you." "Hi Tony, I want to check in one more time to make sure that you have what you need in terms of information regarding the workshop." "Hey Justin, I am checking in to see if you were still interested in working together?" "Hi Danny, I was just touching base from our meeting last week to check in to see if you were still interested in working together?" Or, "Hey Shelly, I was just checking in to see if you got my last fourteen emails?" And more monotonous variations like those. This type of lazy follow-​up language fails because it adds no value and sends your message to the trash.

Just following up, just checking in, or just touching base emails

This activity may make you feel like you are moving a prospect forward, but you are not. These emails may make you feel like you’re keeping the momentum going, but you are not. They may make you think that you are doing something productive, but the effort is empty and meaningless.

If “just following up” really worked, why would you have to keep following up with someone 10 or 12 times?

When you establish the rules of the follow-​up with a prospect, you will not have to follow up so many times. Plus following up that many times makes you look like you got stuck in 1985.

Ask yourself this: Did I take the time to ask my prospect when we will continue the conversation, or what the next step looks like or define how I will openly communicate moving forward? If you don’t establish what happens next, or choose to skip this step, you will turn into the annoying salesperson who is “just following up.”

You can radically change the way your prospects interact and stay in touch with you. 

Change your approach, and you will change your results. Instead of using the same language as your competition, say something different. If you don’t, you will blend right in. Avoid using, "I was just checking in, following up, touching base, reaching out." And start saying, “The last time we spoke you mentioned," or "In our last conversation, you wanted me to," or "I was calling to pick our conversation where we left off regarding…” Get creative! Be different! Stand out!