I have a confession to make: I’ve been blown away by the mere fact that within the past 3 days I’ve had two people “follow up” with me. The first was a thank you note from someone who interviewed with Three Pillar and is hoping to land a position. The second was removing her name from consideration for a position I had referred her to and wanted to give me a heads up while thanking me for the introduction.
Some may wonder why this is such a big deal. Others are probably wondering why I this happens so rarely; I’m wondering the same thing.
I have found the “Follow Up” email to be one of the most useful tools in my business tool shed. After nearly every external meeting (those meetings I meet with an acquaintance/colleague I do not see on a regular/daily basis), I attempt to send a quick “follow up” email. If done right, these emails can leave a lasting impression and are a sure fire way of building a good name and network. Here’s what I recommend you include:
- Thank the acquaintance for taking the time to meet
- Recap the essence of the discussion
- Point out at least one or two things you learned from the meeting
- Address any follow up actions you promised or requested
Taking the time to send these emails – preferably within 24 hours (though, within 48 seems to work just as well if the person knows you’re tight for time) – is one way to show others you respect their time and have listened to what they said. It’s also a great way to document your meetings – it’s significantly more valuable than jotting down a few “after the fact” notes but can accomplish the goal.
As Anthony Robbins, professional coach guru, once wrote, “Success comes from taking initiative and following up….”