I’ve found in my career one essential element for success is following through with what you say you’re going to do. Often, people are surprised when it happens. When I meet with a new referral source and send them a follow-up email with some promised information, I sometimes hear back how surprised they are that I remembered to reach out. This helps to build trust and they will believe that you will treat their clients with the same respect.
This is even more so if you continue to follow through on promises made – it’s like building a bridge of trust. The same people will tell their friends and colleagues and clients that you mean what you say – and as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.
The follow-through is something that isn’t really taught in school or in a continuing education course. It’s something that takes effort and planning and time – just like anything else worthwhile. Luckily, resources abound that can assist you in this. For example, use a notepad, laptop or some sort of recording device so you can make a note to remind you later to follow up. Personally, I find taking a laptop to a coffee meeting to be a bit awkward, so I’ve used my phone when necessary. I’d like to find a small notepad that can fit in my jacket pocket for this instead. Many of my friends carry around an inspirational bound notebook, which makes for a conversation starter on its own.
No matter what, find something that works for you – and use it. Make it an important part of your routine when meeting with people. Doing so will cause you to stand out and help build and maintain your credibility as you continue growing your network.
Do any of our readers have any suggestions or tips that help them remember to follow through on promises?
Richard Adams is an associate with Rosenberg Martin Greenberg LLP in Baltimore.