What You Can Do to Not Suck at Follow Through

ekp-mcauley-0450-2Have you gone to networking events?

Did you make contact with prospective clients?

Did you meet other business owners who could help you grow your business?

The answer to all of these is yes if you’re a business owner.

What’s the next action you took?


You suck at follow through.

Don’t feel bad because you’re in the company of many of us, myself included.

How can we improve our follow through?

  1. Go back to your office and immediately send them a note. Thank them for their time. Remind them of where you met and schedule a meeting. Let them know why you want to meet with them. I recommend an electronic note such as email or an automated service.
  2. Make an effort to meet with them whether it’s on the phone, video call, or in-person. Something they said sparked an interest in you, get their attention to ask and get answers.
  3. Tracking. I am old school and use a spreadsheet. I like moving a prospect from the leads tab to the client tab. You might opt for an app or CRM to track your leads. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as you’re tracking.
  4. Follow up. In direct sales they often say that a no is just a way to say not yet. That hold true for your leads list too. This makes it important to follow up.

What happens when we aren’t following through with clients?

When I started my business, I made a point of responding to email same-day or darn near same day. As I discussed time management tips with other business owners, it was often suggested that I not respond to every email and not so quickly. They suggested that I set time each day to answer only the most important of the emails and let the rest sit.

The idea was to focus the most attention on the most important tasks, prioritizing the work including email. I tried their method and do you know what happened?

I had a mountain of emails and stress over not having responded to people who had sent emails days or even weeks earlier. I missed opportunities.

Events came and went without my knowledge.

Clients were frustrated that I was not responding.

My business suffered.

For me, email is a priority, not some, but all of it. Most of my business communication is through email so it’s important that I not let it pile up.

Lesson learned. What works for other people, may not work for me.

I spend about two hours a day sending and answering email and it’s worth it. Gmail’s auto-sorting feature has saved me hours of frustration. I know where to find newsletters and networking news. My inbox is only those emails on which I need to focus.

While we might sometimes suck at follow through, it’s important to find a system that works for each of us. In the comments below, tell us how you follow through with clients and prospects.


  1. I could feel myself nodding my head in agreement as I read your post Anne, especially the first bullet point in your list. Those first few hours are vitally important because not only are you more motivated and enthusiastic about the prospect of landing new clients, but the person you met still has you fresh in their mind too.

    The longer you leave that initial contact, the greater the chance that they would struggle to put a face to your name. This lack of personal connection can scupper any opportunity you had to arrange a meeting or call to discuss things further. If, on the other hand, you email them straight away, they will likely remember meeting and talking to you at the event.

    • Thank you, Brian! I appreciate your feedback. I am visual and if I wait too long or you wait too long, I don’t have a face with a name. The rule of thumb is to have contact within 48 hours. Have a great week and keep on reading!


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