Amazon Best Selling Author

Business Cards: How to Create a Follow-Up System

New System

How often has it happened that you go to a networking event, have several fantastic conversations and interactions with a number of ideal prospects. You get their business cards but, for one reason or another, you never ever followed up with them. That might have happened a few more times than most people would like to admit.


The bad news in all of this is that you have more than likely missed out on a number of very good business opportunities that could have made a very big difference in your amount of revenue, maybe a joint venture or just more visibility for your business. The good news? You can start today by committing to implementing a system to follow-up on all leads that show an interest in your business to avoid missing out on more opportunities in the future.

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Add Fun Into the Follow-Up Equation


It shocks many people that only 1 out of 50 entrepreneurs follow-up with their potential clients on a regular and consistent basis. Especially with how the economy is in a difficult state right now, many people would think that this percentage would be much higher as businesses try to both retain former clients and find as many new ones as they possibly can. This is especially low considering that 4 out of 5 sales are only made after the 5th attempt.


There are various reasons as to why entrepreneurs are not following up with their clients as they should, but here are just a few of the reasons that we could think of why they might not. They don’t want to come across to the client as pushy, they simply forget to do it, or they get stressed out when they are actually following up. They aren’t sure what the best way to go about it might be, or they don’t have a follow-up system already in place.


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How to Avoid the “Just Following Up” Email

email follow up

In all businesses, there are certain things that nobody likes to receive. Many times sales and business professionals have had the experiencing of placing a sales call or even making a pitch via email and never hearing anything back on the proposal. How business individuals choose to handle the task of following up is crucial and can make or break a business relationship. Today, we want to discuss three possible ways that you can avoid making a mistake that winds up breaking that relationship with a potential client.


First idea is to make sure that you provide background information. Regardless of what field you are in, it is reasonable to assume that your client is very busy. They might be distracted or even might not recognize who you are at first glance. If this is one of your first follow-up emails with this client, make sure to give some sort of introduction to who you are and what it is that you discussed previously.


Next idea is to add value. Adding value is just one possible way to make that “next step” for your client that much simpler and easy. Simplifying the sales process is a possible way to help them, when you help them, it makes it easy to say yes. Be creative in how you choose to try and simplify the entire process. Share resources and information that is relevant to their industry, give them some ideas for Google Alerts, or give them a new idea to let them know a new way to use your product or service that would aid them in their business goals.


Our third idea is to make sure that you include a benefit for the client or a ‘why’ statement. It’s important to reiterate your benefit statement. Why exactly do they need your product? Or why is it that they should come to you and not a competitor? Make this point clear and reasonable, but also make sure that it is short, concise, and confident.

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Build Your Network


Getting ahead in business can sometimes be difficult.   It can also be difficult as a small business owner because you wear many hats, and your team isn’t as big as you sometimes need.  It is important to remember that no one can ever achieve anything great without help.  One great way stay ahead is networking…or connecting with many people.  We can’t do it all alone, and connecting can help you find people and learn from them.

Admit it, connecting on a personal level is very difficult in the digital age we live in, but in order to build successful, business relationships built on trust, you must connect in person with people and often.  It is important to connect with all types of people because you want to try to learn from them and what they are currently working on.  This can help springboard many ideas for you and your business.    Steve Jobs once said “Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions.  You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘wow’, and soon you’re cooking up ideas.”

If you want to be successful, it is important to always be looking for ways to connect with employees, clients, competitors and just random connections everywhere you go.  You never know who will be the person you need to give you your next best business idea, so don’t be afraid to say hello and start asking questions.

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Does it surprise you that lack of willpower is the Number 1 reason why we don’t follow thru?  In fact most people view lack of willpower is a barrier that prevents them from achieving notable goals.  Willpower contains two really life altering words that when put into action can make big changes in your life.


Definition of willpower can be broken into 2 components…








the faculty by which a person decides on and initiates action.


synonyms: determination, willpower, strength of character, resolution, resolve, resoluteness, single-mindedness, purposefulness, drive, commitment, dedication, doggedness, tenacity, tenaciousness, staying power








the ability to do something or act in a particular way, energy to complete action


“the power of speech”


synonyms: ability, capacity, capability, potential, faculty, competence


the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.


Because willpower requires energy, you can actually lose  your ability to have willpower as you get tired.  The secret is to maximize your agency over your energy to make willpower work for you.  The trick is to exercise your willpower muscle to make it stronger so you have an increase in willpower energy.  Some good suggestions to make increase your willpower… acknowledge and anticipate your levels of low willpower, try to do something hard and work to an increase of previous levels, and last, drink orange juice or something else that will increase your glucose level (it is the key ingredient your brain needs  for increasing effective self- control).


We all have willpower and we all have the ability to tap into our own reserves and increase our willpower.

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Olympic Inspiration


As the Olympics have drawn to a close, watching the best of the best has been nothing short of inspirational.  The question now is, “how can I use these stories of inspiration in my work?”


Let’s look at Russian Cross Country Skier, Anton Gafarov.  He fell during the semi-finals and broke his ski.  Not wanting to give up, he resorted to just keep going, if it meant him limping across the finish line, he was not going to quit.  Then, Canadian ski coach, Justin Wadsworth came to Gafarovs rescue, giving him a spare ski.  Wadsworth then helped him get out of the broken ski and helped him click into the borrowed ski.  Gafarov was able to finish the race.


Canadian speed skater Gilmore Junio gave the gift of a lifetime to fellow teammate, Denny Morrison. When Morrison fell and failed to qualify for the 1000-metre event, Junio gave his spot in the race to Morrison.  Junio believed that Morrison had a better chance of winning a medal than he did, so it was best for the team to let Morrison race. Morrison didn’t disappoint. He won a silver medal for Team Canada.


We are all aware of the lifetime of dedication to get to the Olympics.  If we really look at the hard work it takes to make it to the Olympics, we can compare it to the dedication and sacrifice it takes to start a business, and run a business.  Let the games and the will inspire you in your small business and never quit in following up with you customers.

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The Power of Follow Through

follow through

Follow through has the power to change your life.  If you really want to make a difference or a change in your life, or in the world it can really change with one simple tweak, and that is in learning how to follow through and implementing it in your life.


Yes, follow through can dramatically improve your business, but it has to power to extend into other realms of your life as well.


During the holidays you probably saw people you only see once a year, and possibly caught yourself saying “Why do I only see these people once a year?” or “why don’t we make the time to see each other throughout the year?”  Now might be the perfect time to practice following through with those friendships or relationships.  If you can practice these skills and perfect them with those you love, how can your personal life improve?  Once these skills are perfected, now take them and use them in your business as well.


So how can follow through improve your life?  Can the power of follow through make you a better spouse, parent, neighbor…maybe it’s time you find out.

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Business Resolution

2014 goals

At the beginning of a New Year it is a good time to start making changes in our lives.  We all have great intentions for improving our lives and making changes to make our lives better.   The only problem is that most people fail to take action and follow through with their resolutions.


Some tips to help you stay motivated to follow through with your plans, is to focus on the dream and break it down into steps that would help you achieve.  Take time to focus on one change at a time and the chances of success improve.


Another easy step to success is to involve a friend or a mentor to help you stay focused and help you stay accountable.  Involving someone else can help you see from the outside any obstacles that might be in your way or help find the better path to success.  A friend can also help you to find new habits that can help you achieve your goals.  Involving a friend or a mentor can also ensure that you will follow through on what you are striving for.


2014 can be your year!  You can make it happen…go for it!

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Customer Service

Customer Service

Do you think that good customer service has disappeared? I have noticed that good customer service seems to be a thing of the past.  During college, a good friend of mine worked at Nordstrom, a company that demands its employees to go the extra mile for the customer.  So, needless to say, he expects good customer service.  Good customer service is just the right way to do business.   I can tell you that regardless of how competitive the pricing, or how fancy your web site, a small business is at risk if customer service isn’t a priority.

Are you making customer service a priority?  As shameful as it may be, provided good customer service in any industry is not very difficult because it is such a rarity right now.  One could even say that any form of customer service will earn your business huge rewards.  One of the easiest ways to provide good customer service is follow-through.  I recently picked up some photos at Walgreens.  While there, I inquired about a service that the employee could not answer for me.  To my surprise, before I even got home from the store I had a call on my cell phone from the employee answering my question!  He said he called another store, got the answer and looked up my number from the photo order I picked up.  I didn’t ask him to do that!  Has that simple act won my business?  Would it win yours?

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Follow Through

christmas carol

Have a few big accounts, or customers slipped through your fingers?  Have you simply dropped the ball on something you regret?  Well, take advantage of the Christmas season to reconnect with some of the years past mistakes.

 While watching the “Christmas Carol”, I reflected on some pretty dumb things I had allowed myself to miss out on.  Don’t let your past mistakes ruin your future, use the present to reconnect.  You can do this easily with a Christmas Card and of course a personal, handwritten message. There is nothing wrong with this kind of communication.   However, I would suggest that this is best done with a face-to-face meeting, quit possibly a lunch meeting or even video conferencing.  There is no quicker way to build a stronger bond than face-to-face communication.  We quickly build a bond that sets the foundation for trust and a lasting business relationship.  Allow this opportunity to be a time of open honesty thanking them for the business relationship.

Once this meeting has taken place remember YOUR MONEY IS IN THE FOLLOW THROUGH!  Last December, Helen wrote a great article about the benefits of a handwritten note.  Make sure you are never losing an opportunity to write a note of thank you,  everyone loves the extra time and effort taken on your behalf.  The time it takes to set yourself apart from just another email, will be worth it!

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