When to stop following up

When I was 22, I was selling  protective screens for computer monitors. I think our pitch was something around saving employee’s eyes. I can’t really remember our value proposition. A memory I do have, was leaving multiple messages for a prospect but she never returned my calls. The third time I called, I left her a nasty message. I do not remember exactly what I said, but I made it clear I thought it was rude she was not returning my calls. I was 22, I had no formal sales training. Definitely not the right approach, she called me back really quickly and told me to go !&#* myself. But hey, she called me back. I was on to something.

My neighbour is a very successful Canadian retailer. It took me two years to get inside his house for a sit down. Another year to monetize. I’d see him on the street walking his dog, we would chat, he would say “come over some time.” or “let’s have a ginger tea.” But it took two years. I never gave up reaching out to him.

I ran into an investor at an event last week. We were chatting and he said to me, “I like reading your blog on Saturday mornings.” I am pretty sure he would not have known who I was had he not been reading my blog for 6 months. What impressed me most was that he knew it came Saturday mornings. An engaged reader. Cool.

Follow up can look like a lot of different things, but in my experience, follow up is an on going process, it never ends unless one of two things happen. The prospects buys or the prospect dies.


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