The art of the follow-up (part two)

Thank you for your comments on the first post on this subject. People seem to be asking for additional suggestions for follow-up items

Thank you for your comments on the first post on this subject.  People seem to be asking for additional suggestions for follow-up items.  In other words, what if there is nothing significant happening that is worth noting in follow-up correspondence?  One way to plan ahead is to consider that the purpose of the first interview (or meeting if it is not structured as a formal interview) is to secure the second meeting.  With this purpose in mind, find out as much as you can about the interviewer, including his or her background, hobbies, types of clients, and current projects.  Ask thoughtful questions and listen for the answer and for potential follow-up items.  Also, listen for potential touch points — items that you have in common that can link you in multiple ways.  These touch points work well as follow-up items (e.g., sports teams, cooking tricks or great places to dine out, similar interest in particular wines or fine scotches, similar age children, good books, etc.).  Once you have this information, you now have a list of potental follow-up items (which can be inserted in your next communication along with the standard thank you for taking the time…).  Some of these items will make for better follow-up than others, depending on your interests and the interests of your contact.  Here are some possibilities:

1. Sports.  Great game this weekend for our Redskins!  The new running back has some talent!  I think you said you were planning on taking your two boys to this game.  Did that happen and if so, did they enjoy?

Probably need more than just the great game line.

2. Restaurants.   Thank you for the suggestion to try Hook.  I took my wife and she enjoyed the mahi mahi entree which you told me that your sister enjoyed on your last visit. 

Try to incorporate (honestly) multiple commonalities (same place and same dish).

3. Clients.  I came across this article on the valuation of water rights and thought you may be interested in reading because it may be relevant to the estate that you represent that is dealing with this issue now.  

Be as specific as you can because it shows you were listening and because the article may in fact be helpful.

This part of the follow-up should be as sincere as possible under the circumstances.  I think this level of sincerity is possible to accomplish even though your communication is dual purpose in that you wanted to reach out and you also would like to keep the dialogue going.

Try it!