ABC’s of Follow Up: F is for Frequent and Familiar

Thank youFollow up frequently to remain familiar with your contacts.  Now, I am not suggesting that you follow up with everyone on a frequent basis.  However, there are usually 5  to 10 people who are key activators, advocates, and accelerators for your success and these people need to hear from you on a regular basis so that you stay familiar with and to them.

How do you accomplish this?  Well you can begin by putting their names into your calendar management system on a scheduled pattern for regular small touches.  You can  do this in Gmail, Outlook, or whichever system you are currently using to keep track of your contacts.

What’s a touch? 

  • A phone call
  • An email
  • A hand written note
  • A greeting card sent for no apparent reason other than to just say hello
  • A clipping from a magazine that reminded you of something that is important to them
  • An invitation to lunch, a concert, a movie, or a presentation by a interesting speaker
  • An invitation to a walk and talk
  • A donation to an important charity on their behalf
  • Your creativity can go to work here ….

So what is a touch for you?  Let me know the ways in which you keep in contact on a frequent basis with your important contacts.

Happy Connecting!

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ABC’s of Follow Up: E is for Effectively Efficient

How to follow up with people and be effective at it is just as important as being efficient in the process.

You Can Do It Most people fail to follow up.  Period.  They mean well, they really do.  But life gets in the way or, rather, busyness gets in the way.

Have you ever realized that you are just too busy to follow up?  Or have you realized that you didn’t follow up because you were just too busy to do it?  Well you are not alone.  Apparently, 80% of people never follow up with someone that they have met while networking.  80%!  And while that is the number I see touted in many books and articles, from my own experience, I think the # is even higher.

So, what can you do to make sure that you are doing proper follow up with people that you meet while networking?

First of all you need to put a system into place.  When you have a system, you know exactly what to do, when to do it, and most importantly how to do it.  And, when you have a system you can be effectively efficient.

Here’s a suggested system for you to follow:

1. Make it your goal to meet only 2 or 3 people at an event that you are going to follow up with.  By limiting the # of people you plan to follow up with you can be more effective in actually getting the follow up done.

2. Take cards only from people that you actually plan to follow up with.  This prevents you from over extending your ability to respond and it prevents you from making apparent commitments to people that you have no intention of following up with.

3. Set aside white space time after an event for proper self debriefing of what the connections were and how you intend to follow up with the people whose cards you have in hand.

4. Have blank greeting cards and stamps on hand in your office or car so that you can write a quick thank you note within 24 hours of meeting a person at an event.

5. Write the card and send it in the mail within 24 hours.  Remember to make this about them not about you.  Thank them for the conversation and mention something that they said that you remember and make a favorable comment along those lines.  Resist all temptation to go into selling mode.  This is not the time or place.  This is about building relationship!

6. Now that the card is in the mail.  Send the person an email and let them know that you appreciated spending time with them at the event and mention 1 interesting thing that you remember from your conversation.  Make this about them … not you.

7. If you promised to send them information, like an article or a resource be sure to include that in the email.  Again, this is not about you making a sales pitch .. it is about you creating rapport and building relationship.

8. Based on your discussion, if appropriate, follow up with a phone call to arrange a meeting.  Have an outline handy of what you would like to converse about.  Make it about them.  How you can help them.  Add value to the relationship by offering ways to assist them.  Can you provide them with a referral?  With a resource?  Is there something you can collaborate on?  Is there someone that you can introduce them to?

When you start with the end in mind and when you have a system in place you will find it much easier to do the follow up that you intend to do.  Your systematic approach will allow you to be efficient and effective.

Go make someone else happy … it’s all in how you follow up!

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ABC’s of Follow Up: D is for Dreaming

Business Networking is about building relationships.  Follow up after the event is for reinforcing the relationship.

One of the key things to be listening for when you are networking with people is what are their hopes and dreams.  What big audacious goal is enticing them to dream really big for their business?  What lights them up about their dream?

And you might be thinking, “Zita, you are out of your mind … how am I going to find out what people are dreaming about in their business?”

And I would say back to you, “Just ask!”

Everyone loves to talk about themselves.  You know you do.  So ask.  Here are some sample questions that you can ask the next time you are out building relationships through your business networking:

“Wow, that’s really interesting, Joe.  So, tell me what big plan are you working on right now that has you excited about the future?”

“Sally, I understand that you are a business coach.  What exciting goals have you set for yourself for this next quarter?”

“James, I’m so glad we had this opportunity to connect.  Before we part, can you tell me one thing about your business that currently has your attention and you are on fire about?”

I promise you if you ask these, or similar questions, you will get a shocked look from most people … and they will pause for a moment to think … and then you will see them glow from the inside out as you listen intently to what they share with you.

And, if you are smart (and I know you are) then you will make a mental note to support them in that dream.  You can be on the watch for any article or resource that would be valuable to them.  When you find such info and share it with them via email, snail mail, or over the phone – they will realize that you are serious about supporting them in their dreams and achieving their goals.

By helping them to name their dream and bring it into reality, you will have greatly upped your social visibility with them.  Increasing your value to them as a connection in the magic web that they are weaving for themselves.

Dream big for yourself and encourage others in their dreaming as well!

Happy Connecting!

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ABC’s of Follow Up – C is for Connecting

Sticky connector
The best networkers are connectors at heart.  And, that is a very good thing because one of the most powerful ways to build relationships is to act as a connector for the key people in your life.

How do you advocate and make warm connections for others?  You begin by paying very close attention to who your key person is at their core.  What are their core values?  Who do they serve best?  What makes their heart sing?  What gives them joy?  What is their passion?

When you know these things about a person, I am confident that you are well past the knowing and liking stages of building relationships.  You are well on your way to the trusting stage.  So, when you know someone at their very core and you trust them to be true to themselves as you have grown to know them, then it is easy to take the next step.

And that next step is watching out for opportunities to introduce them to people that you know that would be a good fit with their purpose, passion, and competencies.

You are the conduit that can make magic happen for the people in your network.  Pay close attention to what people say they do and to what people say they need.  Then, begin connecting the dots.  By advocating for others and clearing the way so that their paths can converge for a moment or a lifetime, you will be well on your way to making favorable and lasting impressions on the key important people in your life.

Now that’s connective!

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ABC’s of Follow Up – B is for Building Bridges


Follow Up is an important part of your ability to build relationships.  Actually, your follow up is the bridge that shortens the distance between know, like, and trust.

As Bob Burg says in Endless Referrals, “with all things being equal, people do business with people they know, like, and trust.”

As you make your way through a networking event or opportunity, the urge to go for quantity (as in getting as many business cards as possible) should be avoided.  Instead, turn your focus to 2 or 3 quality relationships that you would like to build.

You are much more likely to be able to carve out the time to do the follow up when you are looking at 3 contacts rather than 23 contacts.

To start bridging the gap between the known and unknown, let your follow up be about learning about the other person and thanking them for taking the time to visit with you at the event where you met.  An easy way to do this learning process is to visit their website, or their blog.  There, you can learn about what is important to them, or what makes them tick.  You could also do a Google search on their name or their business to see what else comes up.  In doing so, you’ll be able to comment on something of value to them in your follow up.  Some might think this is a little like stalking, and if overdone, I would agree.  However, anyone who writes a blog, always appreciates knowing that someone has actually read it.

Your follow up with an individual that you have recently met should always be more about them than it is about you.  If you make it about you too early, you will come off as pushing for a sale and that is not what building relationships is about.  You are building a bridge to them so that you can grow past the knowing stage into the liking stage and then ultimately to the trusting stage.

These stages take time.  Bridges are not built overnight and your follow up strategy will not create relationships worth having in the short run either.  These are long term strategies.  Over the long term, you and they begin to understand where you click together, where the opportunities are for cooperation, collaboration, or the sharing of referrals, or the opportunity to do business with each other.

So what to do?

Send them a thank you email within 24 hours.  Thank them for spending time with you at the event and mention either something that you spoke about face to face, or mention something that you found on their website or blog.  You can let them know that they inspired you to learn more … and that you are glad that you did.

Send them a hand written note within 48 hours (sooner if you can).  I know you have heard this a 1000 times.  Have you done it?  That’s what I thought.  Hand written means, by the way, hand written.  You will stand out from all the rest when you do this.

Call them to request a time to meet if this is appropriate to your discussion when you met face to face originally.  Actually, this part of your follow up should be anticipated when you meet someone that you would like to be one of the 2 or 3 folks you intend to do this type of follow up with.  That means that when you do meet someone that you resonate with and would like to get to know better, be sure to ask them if another meeting for the purpose of getting to know each other better appeals to them.  If they say yes, then this is the next step.  Follow up to set up a time and a place to meet.  And, when you do this be sure to have an outline of what is in it for them to have this meeting with you.  Again, this needs to be more about them than it is about you … so no bait and switch here.  Please do not tell someone that you want to get to know them better and then spend the whole time talking about yourself, your product, or your service.  This type of behavior is sure to sabotage any chance you had of creating trust in your relationship.

If after you have a second meeting with this person you want to continue building the relationship, you can then create a series of dates on your calendar to stay in touch via email and mail along with phone calls etc.  The frequency of your touches at this point are determined by the outcome of your meeting and the mutually beneficial relationship that you are building.

So, get out there and build some bridges.  Remember it’s about the quality and not the quantity.  Stay focused, caring, and giving …. the foundation you build and the consistency of your efforts will impact your business growth.  Trust me on this, the pieces will all fit together … to your success!

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ABC’s of Follow Up: A is for Action


If you are honest with yourself, you likely have a business card collection like the one in the photo here.  How does this happen?  It happens when we don’t have a strategy for what to do with the business cards that we receive at events that we attend for networking purposes.  Without a strategy, the RUBBER BAND strategy gets put into play.  Please don’t let this happen to you.

There are several strategies that you can put into play so that you can take proper Action with your follow up.

First, and most important, mark out time on your calendar for follow up.  When you mark off time on your calendar for the event, let’s say 11AM to 1:30PM, then also mark off 4PM to 5PM for follow up.

2nd, keep an arsenal of greeting cards available either in your office, or your car and use those for a handwritten note to people that you have designated as the 2 or 3 that you want to follow up with following the event.

3rd, use a system like Card Scan or Neat Receipts to quickly scan the information off of the cards and into your data base so that you can manage your contacts well over time.

4th, remember to keep it simple and about them … not about you.  Early follow up should always be in gratitude for the meeting and for the time that they shared with you.  Early follow up is about building relationships not about sales.

5th, just go do it!  A is for Action.  Take action now to follow up with at least one person that you met this week.

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Did you come here to buy? Networking myths of the uninformed.

Wouldn’t it be grand if at the next networking event you attended the leader or speaker asked the audience this question … “How many of you came here today to BUY something?  If that describes you, please raise your hand and keep it really high so that the folks that came here today to SELL something can easily find you.”

Raised Hand

Pretty funny to think about, yes?

And yet, many people who come to Networking events are expecting this very thing to happen because … they came to SELL.

And, they are usually quite disappointed because networking is not about selling.

Networking is about building relationships that are mutually beneficial over time.  I’m going to say that again as it bears repeating … Bob Burg, author of Endless Referals says that Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships over time and I whole heartedly agree.

Those who focus on turning their contacts into contracts in the early stages of the relationship building process are the very same people who 2 or 3 months after joining any networking group will be heard to complain that “networking does not work for me” … and they are right.  Networking that way does not work for anybody.

So the next time you are heading out to a Networking event, I hope you will focus on helping others learn about your company, your products, or your services from an educational standpoint and not a transactional one.

You can be a savvy connector for others and yourself.  Or, you can be a pushy and aggressive self centered promotion fool.

Either way, you are teaching people how you operate in the world.

I choose to be a connector.  How about you?

And, in the meantime, let me know if you enjoy being sold to the first time you meet someone.  I’d love to hear about your experiences here.

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The Way I Work: Paul English of Kayak, Page 2

When I am hiring, I try to get people to accept the job before I tell them about salary or title. I promise to make that person dramatically more productive, and that working for Kayak will be the most fun job he’s ever had. I need two things in return: a promise to strive to be the absolute best you can be. And that you will be an energy amplifier — someone people are excited to work with.

I was reading the February issue of Inc. magazine on the plane today and this excerpt really struck me … especially the phrase, “And that you will be an energy amplifier – someone people are excited to work with.” I love that term – energy amplifier! I can think of at least a dozen people in my life who are energy amplifiers and that is certainly the way I want to serve the world.

We have all had our share of energy vampires – the people who drain us of our own energy when they leak their negative energy all over us and suck the life right out of us. How refreshing to have a new term to focus on.

Please go out into the world this week with your energy amplified and let me know what kind of results you gain from the experience.

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Tap of the Morning to All!

This morning at 4:10 AM I was awakened by a snow plow in the parking lot of the hotel I am staying at here in Santa Fe.  Let me tell you, Cranky Zita stumbled out of bed to throw open the curtains to try to figure out what the scraping, crackling, banging noise was outside my window.  Busy bee workers, getting an early start on a day of moving the snow and ice that settled in on Santa Fe late yesterday with an unusual winter storm, were just under my window making a racket that even ear plugs could not silence.

Great, I thought to myself, now I’ll NOT be able to go back to sleep (talk about setting intentions!).  And, dear friends, sleep is so important to me these days!  So I went back to bed and tried all my tricks for hypnotizing myself to sleep with no luck.  And…I could begin to feel that Cranky Zita would lay down the tracks for a not so pretty day.

Remembering that Dr. Wayne Dyer says if you wake up at 4AM it is the because the Universe wants to talk to you, I decided to quit tossing and turning and instead turn on the light and listen to the Universe.

The message that came through is that I have the tools at my disposal to have a great day no matter HTML what.  I can decide if the day will be filled with wonder and excitement and positive things … or something else that does not serve me (or those that come into contact with me) as well.

One of the tools that is exceptional and I want to share it with you today is the “Tap of the Morning”.

Check out this video and try it for yourself.  I did this about a half hour ago and it really helped me to clear the negative energy that I felt upon awakening 3 hours earlier than I had planned.

I would love to hear how it energizes you as well.


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What’s one of the most Powerful Ways to Jump-Start Your Small Business Growth?

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’ve got your nose to the grindstone all the time. But when you’re always busy working you don’t notice what’s changing in the marketplace, or what’s new that you could be taking advantage of to better market your business.  And these days, thanks to the Internet and the economy both of these things are changing at an incredibly fast pace.

So if you’re always busy putting out fires and taking care of clients and customers, you’re likely missing out on one of the most powerful ways to grow your small business… Attending events!

One of the best ways to stay inspired and on top of the latest trends and opportunities is to regularly attend conferences, events and workshops outside of your industry. Because, while reading about the latest and greatest online or in books is great, nothing substitutes for hearing experts speak live about what they’re doing and what’s new.

But let’s face it, spending a few thousand dollars and taking a week off work to go to a conference or seminar isn’t always possible. So I’ve got the next best thing for you.

I’ve been invited to speak as one of 12 small business experts at the upcoming FREE 3-day “Small Business Success Telesummit.” It’s all done by phone, so you can attend every session, or just one or two, from the comfort of your own home or office.

Topics include everything from using social media and other online tools for marketing, creating a more compelling personal bio, mastering in-person networking, how to market your expertise using tips booklets, time-management techniques, outsourcing secrets and more. There’s even a live Q & A segment with the experts at the end of each call.
Here’s a list of all the amazing speakers scheduled for the three-day event:

  • social media expert Nancy Marmolejo
  • PR experts Shannon Cherry, Diane Ennen and Nancy Juetten
  • Time Liberator Susan Lannis
  • The Tips Booklet Queen Paulette Ensign
  • Savvy Networker Zita Gustin
  • Results Coach Leanne Hoagland-Smith
  • Founder of the HUBstreet social networking site Nancy Fox
  • New Business Mentor Leah Grant
  • Internet Marketing Strategist Erin Blaskie
  • Practical Marketing Expert Stacy Karacostas
  • Plus, everyone who registers receives a bonus ebook packed with helpful articles from these experts.


Now you can get the info you need to transform your business without spending a penny or traveling anywhere!

So what are you waiting for? While the event is totally free to attend live, phone lines for the calls are limited. If you’re ready to take your business to the next level go here and register for the Telesummit right away:


What’s the biggest ah-ha moment you’ve had listening in on a teleseminar? Please do share by leaving a comment below…

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