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Needham, MA 02492



Effective Follow Up

Three times I almost talk myself out of making a key follow up call.

  • “It’s too late in the afternoon.”
  • “He probably changed his mind.”
  • “I asked for too much money.”
  • “If she was interested, she would have called.”
  • “I don’t want to bother him.”

Here’s how it nearly cost me my biggest sale, the key to my entire speaking career, and my dream job:

1. How I almost lost my biggest sale

I submit a proposal for a full day training program at a 45 million dollar nationwide service company.

And wait for the call.

And wait.

And wait.

Every day I find reasons to avoid calling the champion of the project.

A person I actually know pretty well.

Here’s the thing.

I had actually convinced myself that they were not interested.

So you can imagine my surprise when I finally decide to get the rejection over with already, dial the phone, and discover that he had been avoiding calling me.

That’s right.

His boss wanted him to ask me if they could add a few more people to the training program.

And he had been putting off making that call.

See, however scared I was to call him, he was twice as scared to call me.

And not for any real reason.

Just like me, day by day, he puts it off.

A great lesson for me.

No call back does not mean no interest.

It can mean busy, or distracted, or that they are nervous about calling you.

Imagine that…

They are afraid of calling you.

So the person you’re putting off calling…

You know the one I mean!

Pick up the phone and call them right now.

I’ll wait…

2. How I almost missed out on the key to my entire speaking career

My staff loves the new training program.

I’m running a volunteer leadership program and have not been able to find a good program for “communication.”

But this guy has it.

Now it’s one week before he’s supposed to present at the weekend and he’s disappeared.

Not returning emails.

Not answering his phone.

But before I fire up Plan B, I call him one more time…

He apologies profusely.

He’s back in town and looking forward to doing the program and will definitely be there.

I sit in on his course.

We all do.

That’s where I learned the “Rule of 3.”

It’s a very simple and straightforward technique and the key to success for every single one of my speeches, webinars, and presentations.

A great lesson.

No call back does not mean no interest.

It wasn’t malicious on his part.

He was travelling and dealing with a family emergency and even though he wasn’t able to get back to me he was still planning to keep his commitment.

So call again.



Message them on LinkedIn.

Send up smoke signals.

Great people are busy.

Find a way to get their attention.

3. How I almost lost my dream job

I needed out of my current job.

And I had found it, or so I thought.

I carefully told them that if we wanted to move forward I wanted it to happen by the end of the following week.

Because after that I would be on a business trip in London and I really wanted to know that I was coming back to a new job.

They seemed excited about me.

So I wait for the call.

And wait.

And wait.

The deadline is Friday.

Thursday I finally pick up the phone.

“Oh!” he says, “I thought you were out of town this week.”

They make an offer that day and I accept the next.

A great lesson.

No call back does not mean no interest.

People will mishear, misinterpret, and completely forget what you say.

It’s up to you to remind them.

To take the initiative.

To pick up the phone.

I’m sure glad I did.

That was my dream job.

What follow up were you avoiding that turned into your biggest deal?

4 comments on “Effective Follow Up

  1. Hi Andy –
    Thank you for the recorded version of effective follow up …Im halfway through it and heard a ton of valuable info…..whether directly from your own experience, statistical or otherwise!

    2 questions:

    1) Im having trouble resuming where I left off –
    any suggestions please?

    2) also – I will preface this next comment with – “it takes one to know one”!

    FYI – My biggest personal challenge – whether during a 30 second pitch or an hour with an attorney – is that I speak too fast!

    Congratulations Andy – I think you spoke at a fast and definitely clear pace!!

    And even while you spoke at a fast pace – and clearly were juggling several “balls in the air” at once – at least you still enunciated well!!
    Now thats a well crafted skill –
    I tend to speak less clearly -when Im picking up the pace too fast!

    Any way – I enjoyed your style, content, approach and how you actually led the webinar by, periodically, giving specific instructions to engage your audience

    Id love to hear the rest of the webinar…..and look forward to others as well.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Marcy!
      I emailed you a screen shot of how to move the YouTube viewer slider around to start anywhere you want within the video.
      Thanks again!

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