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Apr 27

Who Is Responsible for Follow Up?

Posted by: Steve Marr

Tagged in: Untagged 

Who is responsible for follow up?  There’s only one answer to that question:  you are. Follow up is one of the most important, and often most ignored aspects of business.  This is true whether you are managing people, a process or sales. 

We see an example from Scripture, “As the LORD commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.” (Joshua 11:15 NIV) When nothing is left undone, that always requires follow up.


Someone told me, “You are lucky you are a CEO. When you tell someone to do something, they do it.” My response was, “Do you think that just because I tell someone to act, they do? Hardly.  I have to follow-up to get the work done.”

You need a follow up system other than your memory. I used to use my calendar to write down things requiring follow-up. Today, technology makes the process easier.  When I meet with a colleague, I keep meeting notes including items requiring follow-up. I mark some to follow-up at our next meeting.  If I need results earlier, I place a reminder on my Outlook system for a specific day. Those I meet with less often, I create an action item with follow up dates in my Outlook system. My follow up items appear on the day I need to follow up.  Nothing is left to memory.  I can call or e-mail as needed. At the same time, I place my next follow-up for a future day. If someone owes me a report on a certain day and I have not received it, I send the follow up and place the next follow up date in Outlook. When I get to my follow up list, I delete completed items.

Follow up is even more important in sales.  When someone expects to be paid, they have a stronger incentive to follow through than those who simply want to make a sale. In my sales follow up, I make a note of each contact including all pertinent information.  If someone says they will call me on Monday with feedback, and they don’t call; I don’t wait for my phone to ring. I call on Tuesday to follow up. My follow up time may range from a day to three months.  By putting these items in my system, I save a lot of time on follow up.

I have known very few people with good follow up who relied on memory alone. Even if you have a memory like a steel trap, a good system will just make it stronger. Think through a system that works for you and implement it.  Effective follow up will help you grow your business.

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