The value of follow-up

I was at a networking event a few months ago.  One of the entrepreneurs has recently started a new company that makes soaps, lotions, etc.  Now, as most of you know and he knows, I use these things in the pamper gift baskets that I made for women.  As a group of us sat around the table getting our morning caffeine fix and talking about business stuff, he mentioned trying to wholesale his products to some resorts and other companies elsewhere in our state.  I sat there, listening quietly.

As he started to leave, he looked at me and said, “if you need anything, call me.”  And I’ve never heard anything from him since.

This was a good lesson for me about the value of follow-up.

I’m sure his bath products are great.  But I’ve never seen them.  I have no idea what the wholesale prices are.  And I wouldn’t even know how to order them other than his off-hand remark of “if you need anything, call me.”

If I need anything, I’ll call a company that I’m familiar with.  One that has sent me samples and wholesale prices.  One that has told me with their actions and words that they value and want my business.

And I need to remember that with my own potential customers. It’s important to make them feel that they, and their business, are important to me and not just expect them to call me when they need something.

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4 thoughts on “The value of follow-up”

  1. Very good reminder about the right way to network and follow up.

  2. Susan, You make an excellent point about not automatically adding someone to a mail list just because they hand you a business card. But, as you say, this does provide you with an open opportunity to contact them by phone or email. Not handing me a card in this particular instance was his mistake. I knew the name of the company and could have found it but I felt that if he wasn’t interested enough in my business to do more than just make an off-handed comment, I wouldn’t bother. We need to remember that our own customers feel the same way.

  3. That is weird that he didn’t hand you a business card as he said that.

    I would like to give a tip about business cards and networking events, just because someone gives you their card does not mean they want to be automatically added to your mailing list. Ask first or you could get yourself reported as a spammer (they might not remember you or your company out of all the people they met that day).

    A follow up via email is different. You could say how nice it was to meet them, rehash what you two talked about and end with if you could be of further help or if they would like to keep in touch join you on your social networking sites or sign up for your mailing list/newsletter. If they are interested they will reply and/or do as you asked.

  4. Great post Joyce….and good advice for those of us who procrastinate on following up!

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