Being proactive takes a bit of effort and discipline to do this on a consistent basis. Of course, being reactive is a lot easier and usually is the excuse why we are not as proactive as we know we should be.
There are many areas in your business you can take the initiative instead of waiting for someone to reach out to you. Look at your daily tasks and see how many are reactionary versus proactive. Look at the reactionary list closer. Which ones could you be converting to proactive tasks?
When you are being proactive on a consistent basis, you will know and see results. Does a team member, prospect or client have to ask you and follow-up on most of their requests?
Here's what being proactive look like. Team members get a timely response to their request with a reasonable time-frame when you will provide an answer. Prospects and Clients receive acknowledgement of all their requests with a deadline for your response.
It is Okay to ask questions such as "when do you require this by?" and to reply if you can meet this request or require additional time. If you ever hear someone say "I was just about to call you" when they are following up, trust me, most do not believe you.
Take note of all the times someone is following up on something they have asked of you. Look at your habits and see where you can improve to provide better responses, better timing and reduce the number of people having to ask for updates. Be the one to give the updates first.
Call on your clients instead of waiting for them to call you. Ask how your team is taking care of them, ask if there is anything that should be addressed and ask what else you can help them with. Share your new products/services and where your company is going. Comment and give feedback on what you have heard about their company and what you are seeing in their marketing. Check out their website and social media channels before connecting and have a discussion about them.
Bonus tip: when someone asks why you have not updated them, replying with "I have no news" is not a good answer. Be proactive and give timely updates even if it is "still working on it" or "nudging the people for the answers". Most of the time if you do get a response it will be "thank you for the update". Now, wasn't that just easy?