Tag Archive: follow-up

A Simple Follow-Up Increases Your Success by 20%…. Are You Doing It?

May 22nd, 2017

I attended the Renaissance Executive Forums all-members meeting last week, and one of the keynote speakers was a consultant I know from my affiliation with a global consulting association. It’s a small world! His name is Alex Goldfayn, and he is the author of the Revenue Growth Habit. He is a successful consultant on, not surprisingly, increasing revenue, and I was especially intrigued by how easy he said success can be — it’s just whether we choose to follow the plan. One of his tips is simply to follow up. Somehow I don’t think we need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out; however, how many people follow up? Not nearly as many as you’d think! According to Alex who has worked with countless organizations, a simple follow up will increase revenues by 20%. It certainly seems worth it. Obviously the same type of statistic holds true regardless of why you are following up. Why not give it a try?

follow-up

One tip to implement this week:

I have a special affinity for this tip because it has been one of the reasons behind my success. I gained this insiders tip from my mom, and it has certainly paid off. I can’t tell you how many millions follow-up has created for my clients’ bottom lines. It seems almost too simple to be true but it is just not a common practice. Thus, the good news is that we all can make a dent in implementing this tip immediately.

Look through your tasks for the week. Are there some that will more likely be successful or set up to be successful if you followed up? Start there. Think about last week’s activities. Should you follow up on any items? I am sure you have at least one! Consider how you could help your manager, colleagues or Board members/corporate officers be more successful if you were to follow up on an important project. Don’t delay — move at least one item forward an inch TODAY!

 

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”

 



Start planning now to achieve year-end results with critical projects

August 29th, 2013
Priorities, a must in business

Nothing is more critical to your results than good planning, prioritizing, and follow-up.

While looking toward the end of Q3 and the start of planning for 2014, wouldn’t it be nice to achieve year-end results with critical projects?  As many companies and leaders get lost in the holidays, it is an opportunity for those who stay focused on the key priorities. By no means should you forget the holidays and thanking your people for a good year; however, if you channel your efforts on the critical few, you could not only end the year on a positive note but also accelerate project results in time for year-end.

There are several keys to success in delivering project results; however, one simple yet secret weapon is follow-up.  The best plans are useless without follow through and follow-up. I’ve found it quite amazing the number of highly paid, intelligent leaders that do not value or do not make the time to follow-up. Why spend millions of dollars developing plans if you don’t plan to put in the work to make sure they occur?  So what are a few tips to ensure results occur?  1) Plan.  2) Prioritize.  3) Follow-up.

1.     Plan:  First, develop a simple plan.  What needs to be done?  By who?  When?  What support is required?  It doesn’t have to be fancy or use the latest technology (a scrap piece of paper with action items will likely suffice). This will provide the structure for your follow-up.  In my experience across hundreds of projects in multiple industries and geographies, working a simple list is the 80/20 of success.

2.     Prioritize:  Prioritize your follow-up. It isn’t necessary to follow-up on everything. If there is one common mistake in today’s new normal business environment, it is getting caught in an endless sea of tasks in a survival mode.  Instead of going down that rabbit hole, think about what’s most important.  What can have the largest impact on your project between now and the end of the year? Next, follow up on only those priority tasks; for example, the critical path or the A priorities.  If you follow up on only the tasks that are key, the people related to those tasks will intuitively realize the implied importance and prioritize accordingly.

Additionally, the more you are able to explain why the specific tasks are important, the more the people responsible for the tasks will understand and value them themselves. On the other hand, if you followed up on every task, it would just become a nuisance, and you’d likely be ignored.

3.     Follow-up:  Think function & not form. It doesn’t matter whether you follow-up via email, phone, a fancy software or whatever. What matters is that you follow-up. You will achieve the best results if you change your follow-up style to the person you are following up with.

For example, if you are following up with someone who reads email voraciously but doesn’t typically talk on the phone, send an urgent email. On the other hand, if you are following up with someone who enjoys talking with people (regardless of whether he/she has email), pick up the phone.

When you follow up, make sure to follow up in advance of the due date on critical tasks and critical path items. This gives the person an opportunity to remember and plan for the task. I’ve found that 99% of the people will complete the task with this type of follow-up, whereas, without the follow-up, I might receive a 50% completion ratio, mainly due to conflicting priorities and busy schedules.

It isn’t complex, expensive or requires capital investment to follow-up, it just requires a bit of energy, yet, it yields significant results. Why not close out the year with your project team celebrating a significant “win”?

Additional Reading:

Project Failure: How to  Avoid Top Causes

Best Laid Plans: Turning Strategy Into Action Throughout Your Organization