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7 Tactics of Following Up Without Being Annoying

7 Tactics of Following Up Without Being Annoying

The significance of following up, touching base and chasing the client shouldn’t be undervalued. Many people, especially people like me who are in PR, have seen it in action; whether it’s sending a lot of pitches and follow-up emails or making phone calls. Conscientious follow-up has helped me win business, get a story published in the newspaper, and pitch multiple ideas to clients and the media.

Strong and active following-up conveys a message to the potential client that you want to work them, that you are the right person for the job, and that you are just waiting to get started on one call. But whether you are looking for a job, a salesperson, a publicist or a businessmen, it could be a test to be persistent without being seen as annoying when you are doing strong follow-ups.

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While each situation needs to be handled differently, here are seven ways to follow up without being seen as annoying:

1. Being persistent doesn’t mean daily

Doing follow-up every day doesn’t indicate your gumption or passion; give respect to a person’s time. The common rule of pursuing or following up is to give at least one week before sending a reminder. Doing follow up daily can come off as annoying. Start out with an email or phone call every week, and then switch to every couple of weeks.

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2. Select a communication medium

There are no guidelines or rules on the best way to follow up; however, it’s always better to follow the indication of the individual you’re contacting. If they prefer email and your past conversations have taken place over email, it is better to follow-up via email.

3. Try multiple channels

Selecting a communication medium does not mean you should keep one communiqué method. Occasionally using other communication methods can initiate a quick response. Use social media like Twitter, Facebook, or a message on Linked-In, if you are not getting a response to your emails or phone message.

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4. Don’t act like you’re owed anything

There is a strong possibility of getting disheartened and irritable when you are not getting response after a solid follow-up. Remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve followed up, or how impeccable your proposal or pitch is for that client; nobody is obligated to respond to your request. Each follow-up call, email or message should be as respectful, polite and humble in attitude as your first one was.

5. Your objective is an answer

Don’t set a quota or sign to classify an answer, whether your offer is turned down or receives a non-actionable response, such as “I’ll get back to you.”

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Some people might have a rough time saying no, so they’ll attempt to postpone the inevitable. Minimize that propensity by giving the person an intention to respond, such as offering a limited-time price cut. Be proactive and schedule a time to contact the person when they say they’ll get back to you.

6. Have a plan

You can’t simply keep calling a prospect after getting a negative response. Make an active plan for your offer or proposal. Find out other prospects that can be reached, look for other products that can be pitched to different clients. A negative response should lead you to the next step according to your planned track.

7. Say thank you

Whatever response you get from the client or contact person, always remember to acknowledge the time he has spent to read your proposal, or communicate with you on the phone. He gave you time and consideration, which is a difficult thing for every professional these days. He might help you by giving some information that can improve your offer or proposal, or offer a new contact, or ideas about how to sell it somewhere else. Always thank them for their time for considering your offer; they’ll remember how polite you were–and might consider your proposal in the future.

Featured photo credit: www.coffeesh0p.com via static3.coffeesh0p.com

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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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