Mar 3, 2011

Posted in Inspiration

Ouch! The Pain Of Following-Up

Why don’t we follow-up with the people we meet at networking events? We all know that follow-up is essential – A MUST for our livelihood – but still 85% of people never follow-up after a networking event.

What’s going on here?

Simple. It’s because we associate some kind of “pain” with the process. Think about it:

  1. Perceived pain if I follow up: Disappointment. I won’t get an email back. I’ll be rejected. I already know most of these people. It’s a waste of my time.

  2. Perceived pain if I follow up: Embarrassment. The person will think badly of me in some way. I won’t say or write the “right” thing. They might think I’m pushy and that I’m only interested in selling something.

  3. Perceived pain if I follow up: Success. Yes, we can also associate pain with success because with success comes more follow-up, more work and more of our time, doesn’t it?

There are probably more perceived pains out there, but the point is, this belief stops us from acting! But if we understand the pain we are associating with the follow-up then all we have to do is revise our thinking and just go for it!

Have you ever heard of a guy named Colonel Sanders? Of course you have. How did Colonel Sanders become such an unbelievable success? Was it because he was born wealthy? Was his family rich? Did they send him to a top university like Harvard? Maybe he was successful because he started his business when he was really young. Are any of these true?

The answer is no.

Colonel Sanders didn’t begin to fulfill his dream until he was 65 years old!

What drove him to finally take action?

It was when he got his first social security cheque for $105. He got mad – really mad, but instead of blaming society or just writing congress a nasty note, he started asking himself, “What could I do that would be valuable for other people? What could I give back?” He started thinking about what he had that was valuable to others and all he could think of was this silly little chicken recipe he had that everyone seemed to love.

He went and started knocking on doors, telling each restaurant owner his story: “I have a great chicken recipe, and I think if you use it, it’ll increase your sales. And I’d like to get a percentage of that increase.”

Well, many people laughed in his face but instead of feeling bad about every restaurant that had rejected his idea, he immediately start focusing on how to tell his story more effectively and get better results from the next restaurant.

How many times do you think Colonel Sanders heard no before getting the answer he wanted?

He was refused 1,009 times before he heard his first yes.

I love that story. Many people have great ideas. But Colonel Sanders was different. He was a man who didn’t just think of great things to do. He found the courage to put them into action.

So just go for it! Life is too short not to be living it at your very best!

  1. Great post Laura and very encouraging. I found there was a good follow up rate from the last networking event and I am sure your mention of the importance of it helped. However, one thing I have noticed that tends to happen at these events is that people assume that just because they have spoken to you that they can automatically add you to their mailing list. What would be preferable is to receive a follow up email (or even a phone call) which then includes – as boldly as you like – an invitation to sign up to the newsletter. Then, as participants, we can decide whether we would find it valuable to sign up, rather than it just being assumed.
    Not everyone does this and I am sorry if I offend anyone that does, but it should be our desicion.
    I appreciate that ultimately we are all trying to sell something, myself included, but I don´t want my own desicion-making taken out of my hands.
    Has anyone else experienced this?

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