How can you make sure your conversation gets a response? How can you make sure you actually get something done from that conversation?
Effective follow-up hinges on 3 primary areas of consideration; Tone, Timeliness, and Accuracy.
ToneTone is easily overlooked. Tone refers to the sound and delivery of your follow-up. If you are overly pushy in your follow-up, you can be off-putting. Your aggressiveness can be seen as either too forceful or desperation. You never want to be seen as either. Your tone should be complementary and humble. You should reference what was discussed in a simple, succinct manner and it should come across as genuine. Understand that your follow-up on a topic should be mutually beneficial. Both parties should want the next steps to happen, so remind the recipient of why this is a great opportunity for you as well as for them. Don’t oversell it – understand that everything has a time and place, and this will too.
TimelinessTimeliness is key. You want to make sure your follow-up happens within 12-24 hours. The sooner it comes through, the more likely you are to be able to take advantage of the momentum that came from your conversation. When both parties are engaged you have to offer up the next steps. Confirm the action items that will help you both move forward, and make it clear how long this will take, even offering to jump on a call or meet again to check-in. You want to “strike while the iron is hot” or else you risk not being able to iron out the details, so to speak.
AccuracyAccuracy is what can make or break the next steps. During a conversation, you have a collaborative exchange. Ideas are traded and outcomes are hypothesized. When you follow up, you want both sides to be ultra-clear on what has to happen next. There are items you are responsible for and there are items the recipient will be responsible for, too. You want both sides clear and you want a pre-determined period of time where you will check in and see where things have landed. During the conversation it can be hard to take accurate notes, so many people recommend having a voice collaboration platform implemented that will give you a virtual record of the conversation and make it easier for you to know what the follow up will be. These tools are more than a transcript or recording of the conversation. These are more about extracting value from a conversation and making it easy to go back and review what was discussed, hopefully clearing up any confusion or miscommunication. Doing so makes it easier to move from a conversation to an action.
If you can do all 3 – the right tone, be very timely and 100% accurate and clear – you are virtually guaranteed to be successful. The best businesses are the ones where these 3 elements are woven through the entire organization.
Tone is up to you, but if you want a jumpstart on Timeliness and Accuracy and the chance to close more deals quickly, check out the Voice Collaboration Platform of Voicera and the in-meeting assistant, EVA. EVA can join any conversation – in-person, conference call or direct phone call – and take notes. Voicera supplies a full, highly accurate transcript and recording plus highlights from the conversation. You can customize what EVA listens for and what it considers important. You can also ask EVA to do things like set reminders and mark special pieces of conversation.