I received this text from a friend the other day…
Blog idea (for you): if you’ve forgotten to follow up…. how long is too long
It’s a GREAT idea and I realized I haven’t written about this much. When is it too late to follow up with someone?
It’s Never Too Late
Well, unless there was a deadline surrounding the follow up, then maybe it is. But, the thing with follow up is that my insane standards are my insane standards. And they’re a goal not a deadline. Sometimes you’ll leave an event go do 3 more things and then you open your bag a month later and find that business card you put in the perfect spot so you wouldn’t forget it. We’ve ALL done it.
There’s nothing wrong with a mea culpa. Be honest – “Hi Jack – I just opened a pocket in my bag and found your card. I’m so sorry for this incredibly delayed response. If you still need help…”
Don’t make up an excuse. Acknowledge that the delayed follow up is on you, apologize and move on to the follow up you initially intended to do.
If you were just busy and are now a week or two late – take this pro-tip from my follow up templates (in the future):
Having a crazy week? Unsure if you can get to them right away? Try saying this:
“I’ll send ___ over to you by the end of the week. The next few days are a bit crazy.”
It’s okay to use this tactic to give yourself some wiggle room, but you absolutely must do it within the time frame you promised. And then leap over tall buildings to get it to them before your competition swoops in.
Honesty is the best policy, you know this. It’s okay to admit you screwed up. I am much more likely to do work with someone who admits they dropped the ball than someone who makes up an excuse.
How do you handle delayed follow up? Or do you just count it as a loss and move on?