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Every bit of marketing that you do has one common element. The FOLLOW-THROUGH. No matter if itís that one-minute elevator speech you made, that press release you sent out, or an event that you attended, you must follow-up that action with a second action. In that first encounter, you planted a seed. With your second effort, you NURTURE that seed of interest to grow.

We have all run into someone we have not seen in a long time or someone with whom we have only had a brief acquaintance in the past. You stop and have a friendly CHAT. Sometimes that chat includes questions about your business and sometimes it does not. Either way, donít miss the OPPORTUNITY to follow up. Send out a note that expresses your pleasure at seeing them and tell them you wanted to show them what you are doing now, and include your brochure. Or, tell them you enjoyed talking to them about your business and wanted to send them a brochure so they would have your number at hand.

You fielded the email or phone call from someone interested in HIRING you and you happily answered their questions. Donít forget to follow-through. Mail them a letter thanking them for their interest in your company. Tuck in, or attach, a brochure or a page of tips that they might find useful. Keep a list of these contacts and check back again in a few months. It sometimes takes people a bit of TIME to make a move on a project.

If you have sent something to a media outlet, perhaps a press release or an event for a calendar of activities, then you need to follow-through. The VOLUME of mail the media receives is mind boggling. After sending the item, CALL the appropriate person. Make sure they received the item, see if they have any questions or need more information. Once your item appears in print or on the air, be sure to follow-through a second time. Thanking the person who answered your questions and helped you get your information out into the public is the way to build a good relationship for future marketing.

If youíve been given a chance to speak to a group, the follow-through is really important to touch that person in a ONE-ON-ONE fashion. Try to get a list of who attended the event. There may be a sign-in sheet available or you might have a door-prize registration or sign-up for more information sheet. Take that opportunity to send the listeners your newsletter or a tip sheet. Tell them how much you enjoyed visiting with their group and to let you know how you can be of service. On a second note, be especially prepared to follow-up on the listeners that take the time to come up and SPEAK to your personally after a talk. You have already struck a personal cord with them. Be sure to take names and numbers so that you can get back to them to answer questions, provide more information or follow up in any way they need.

At networking events, donít be in a hurry to collect as many business cards from attendees as possible. Good networking means REMEMBERING who you met and what you learned about them. Take the time to learn a little bit about that person and after the encounter follow-through by jotting some NOTES on their business card. After the event, follow-through by sending information about your company and services.

As they say in business, success is all in who you know. Iíd like to add that success in business is all in who you know and were NICE to! Often people step forth to offer ASSISTANCE to us. It is really important that you follow-through with a personal thank-you for these actions. Take the time to make a call, write a note or even send a small thank-you gift when appropriate. It might be the printer that stayed late to squeeze in your last minute order, the woman at the Chamber of Commerce counter that gave out your name to a client, or the person who invited you to visit their networking group or civic club.

Everyday, in many ways, there are opportunities for a follow-through. How we behave during our many opportunities to market our company is important but how we RESPOND after that opportunity is equally important. Every time you make a marketing step forward, but donít follow-through on that step, you are just standing STILL.


Lea Schneider is a professional organizer and member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. She has a BS in marketing and has a background of work experience in marketing and journalism. Her feature stories appear weekly in The Jackson Sun, Jackson, TN. Schneiderís company, Organize & More, provides solutions for home, office and life through consultation and hands-on organizing. Visit her website www.organizerightnow.com.

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