The topic of following through keeps arising when talking to other entrepreneurs, managers and sales professionals and thought I would share some updated thoughts on this subject.
Following through is one of the key components to building and maintaining business relationships. Remember my blog about the three key components to good communication: 1. Follow-up 2. Follow-up 3. Follow-up.
Are you going to do what you said you were going to do? Can I trust you are going to take care of this? If I share a challenge for you to address, will you follow through and keep me updated?
Go back and read the questions again. All three answers MUST be yes without hesitation, without a "yes but..." answer. It is alright to follow through in a reasonable time with "I am still working on this and do not have any new updates. I will call you with an update on specific day/time"
When we have one or more no's, there is a lack of follow through. This leads to reasons why people feel they are not being taken care of. We can make up a number of reasons and excuses and sometimes these are valid. The truth is we must take it upon ourselves to follow through.
Today we rely heavily on e-mail and sometimes picking up the phone with a short message (or talking to a person live!) is the best decision you will make to relay your updates. Does anyone else use the phone to communicate?
In a recent meeting with an owner and a controller, it was shared the main reason I was invited to the table was their long-term technology partner did not follow through. This did not sit well with them after such a long relationship and for the first time they were considering a second opinion. If their partner would have followed through on the last order of business, I would not have had the opportunity to start a discussion with them.
Do you have the discipline to consistently follow through?