Have you noticed that successful people keep their promises? Perhaps that is why they are successful, if they tell you they are going to call you, send you a letter, do you a favor, they usually do. Have you heard the expression, “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it?” It is true. Whereas, the not-so-ambitious are quick to say “of course, no problem”or “don’t worry about it,” and that is the last of it. When that happens to you, how do you feel about the person that made the promise? Not very good. And after a call or two, and still no response, then you feel anger. Is this the way you want people to view your or your business?
Many of us simply accept the causal promise as just that, causal. The parting “I’ll call you” means maybe. The Hollywood, “lets do lunch sometime” means don’t hold your breath. We are so accepting of such behavior that when someone does do what they say, we are pleasantly surprised. When a company- supplier or customer- follows through we are impressed.
Such negligence creates opportunity. Other’s lack of consideration and irresponsibility allows us the chance to create a successful image of our business and ourselves.
Successful entrepreneurs know the benefits of keeping their promises. I believe that if you keep your word to your employees, your customers and your suppliers, or anyone you have made a promise to, you lay the foundation for long-term successful relationships that will withstand troubled moments.
Plus, I believe in the success habit that if you want something, ask for it, and ask for it more than once. Unfortunately too many new entrepreneurs, salespersons and job applicants, don’t follow up- and don’t succeed. Are you guilty? If you don’t like pressing for an answer or decision for fear you may be intruding or perceived as, “pushy”- change immediately. The trite sayings “out of sight out of mind” or the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” are true. Reverse the situation, do you always do everything the first time you are asked? I know I do not- just ask my wife.
Following up reveals we are serious and reliable. If we are the one asking, it makes a statement, it says we are persistent, it says we are goal oriented, and it says we are willing to make the effort to get what we want. If we have promised to do something and do it- it shows we care- following up speaks well of us.
Midway in my career, one of my responsibilities was to organize and develop a national sales force. In doing so, I vowed that if any job applicant I interviewed did not follow up with me at least once, I would not hire him or her. Why? No initiative. If a salesperson can not follow up to see if they are a candidate for a job, will he or she follow up to make a sale or get a new customer? My system worked for me, as few of those I hired- failed.
Remember, successful salespersons don’t forget, they keep their word. They know that follow up is critical to their success. Yet, customers everywhere complain about the lack of it. They complain about salespersons failing to keep their word, failing to keep them informed, and failing to call on them. Such dismal performance by so many can spell success for you.
Collection activity is follow up! If you want your customers to pay you on time – ask them to. If they realize that when their check is not in the mail, you will be calling, faxing, or sending a note. Guess what, you will be paid sooner than a creditor who does not follow up. If you want your money, ask for it.
As you build your business or your career, make it one of your success strategies. If there is someone or something you want, follow up, your competitor, or rival, may not. Use your initiative to gain the advantage. Much of success in business and personal accomplishment stems from persistence and follow up.
Think about this: If you want someone to do something keep asking, if someone wants you to do something, do it before they ask again. Such simple advice will help you get what you want out of life.
Article Copyright 2000 by Dr. Paul E Adams, Author of Fail Proof Your Business: Beat the Odds and be Successful.