Client follow up and persistence are great skills leaders can pass along to their associates. For those who know me, it will be no surprise that for effective client follow up I always recommend a systematic approach. I also recommend chanelling the Rolling Stones and Columbo.
Follow Up: You Can Always Get What You Want
The Rolling Stones famously sang, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.” Meeting with clients can be a similar situation. I constantly stress the importance of setting the table, meaning that you control the meeting with an appropriate agenda that will get you the information you need. However, most times there is more left to do after the meeting. Good leaders will demonstrate strong follow-up skills that work to get even elusive answers that will help their companies be successful with their clients.
Leadership Can Teach Follow Up
That made me think of the great TV character Columbo. Brilliantly written and performed, Peter Falk’s dishelved police leutenant masterfully finds ways to break through the defenses of his subjects, all of whom are guilty of murder. Click here or the photo for a scene where Columbo follows up with his suspect, whom he clearly has met previously. In the scene, Columbo needs a particular piece of information. Can you guess what it is? And though it’s clear he needs something, he’s cleaver about getting it and his suspect feels good about giving it.
Thankfully, strong leaders can teach their associates how to engage their clients with proper follow up. And I’ll help. This week, I’ll give a you a few critical reasons for reconnecting with clients after a meeting:
- – Checking the status of a recommendation
- – Determining why a recommendation has stalled
- – Garnering feedback on a new aspect of the recommendation that can benefit their client
- – Meeting a deadline set at the last meeting/call
Next week, I’ll go into more detail about each of these and how your team can get the result they need from each.