This blog is designed for the bride looking for a relaxing experience during the planning process. We will share the latest trends, ideas & more, including highlights of the weddings & events Glitz Event Design has created...

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Importance of Following Up

In Part II of my "Networking" series, I decided to write about The Importance of Following Up because in the wedding/event planning industry it is so important to follow up with clients, potential clients, as well as organizations, vendors and other professionals in the industry especially after an initial consultation, meeting or networking event.

Since Social Networking has pretty much taken over, it is equally important to follow up on inquiries you receive on Twitter and Facebook as well. This issue is important to me because there are so many professional organizations (in this particular industry) that have industry professional counterparts in charge of the organization(s) and recently I have been reading complaints from other industry professionals (and have personally experienced this myself) that when reaching out to these industry professional counterparts via email, Twitter and/or Facebook with a question, etc., they do not respond. This is a huge pet peeve of mine and in my opinion very disrespectful and unprofessional (wouldn't you agree?). Just imagine how our clients, potential clients or other professional counterparts feel when we do not respond to an email that was sent or return a phone call. Follow up calls, emails, etc., should be within a 24 or 48 hour period. In this business, honestly, saying we have been too busy, etc. for clients, etc., is an absolute no no.

In an article that I read entitled, "Networking Follow Up - Inquiry," the author Chi Chi Okezie (owner/producer of SIMPLEnetworking, LLC in Metro-Atlanta, GA) states:

"The networking event is officially over and you have gotten some great contacts and possibly leads that can turn into referrals or viable business contacts." Chi Chi goes on to state that as a networking professional, you clearly understand the importance of follow up in a timely and respectful manner. Facilitating business and building your network is key and that is your focus when meeting other business professionals. She then poses the questions, "What are ways professionals can properly follow up with their business counterparts? How can professionals engage their counterparts and be unique in their follow up styles? How can professionals continue building strong relationships after the networking event?"

Some tips to follow up with clients, potential client and/or other professionals in your industry are:
  • Prepare a handwritten note or card. Personally, I will send an email to clients, potential clients and/or professional counterparts thanking them, etc. It's a personal touch and people love that.
  • If you are short on time, opt for a less personal but equally effective thank you by sending a text message to the prospective client's cell phone thanking them for their time.
  • Schedule a follow up meeting.
  • Always say thank you.
  • Ask for referrals. If they are happy with your services they will give you names of others that will benefit from your services. This is networking!!!
When I receive an email from a client, potential client, professional counterpart, vendor, etc., 99% of the time I immediately respond and/or follow up (and if I do not follow up that same day, I will within 24 hours). Afterwards, I would say that most of my responses that I receive from the client, vendor, etc., that I have responded to, email me to thank me for such a quick response. I am invited to open houses, grand openings, anniversary parties, and networking events (just to name a few) all the time by industry professionals, and it would be rude if I did not respond to these individuals who take the time out of their busy schedule to invite me (even if I cannot attend, I still RSVP). Honestly, it is an honor that any of these industry professionals that have invited me and continue to invite my staff and I to their events think enough of us to invite us.

Modern technology has set it up that we can receive emails on our phone and alerted of Facebook and Twitter messages as well. There is almost no excuse not to respond to messages within a 24 or 48 hour time period and most of us do have assistants who can respond as well. The bottom line is this, "the follow up sets the platform for a strong business or social relationship. The follow up can define your professionalism and etiquette style for connecting with people. The follow up can also determine how well your business counterpart can trust you. It is quite evident that professionals should really hone into their follow up skills for networking success!" Chi Chi Okezie, Networking - The Great Follow Up

I enjoy sharing information and I hope my two part series on Networking has been insightful. If you would like to read my previous blog on Networking, just click here on Networking ... but for now,

Happy Planning!

SPECIAL NOTE♥ to wedding/event planners and industry professionals … On Sept 30, I will be hosting an open house with individuals in the event planning industry to re-introduce a gallery that can host weddings, wedding receptions, birthday celebrations, etc., etc. INVITATIONS WILL BE SENT OUT SOON. If you would like to be a part of this fabulous event and see what this gallery has to offer for you and your client(s) or future client(s), please email me your information so that I can put you on the guest list and send you the information. Also, I will be INTRODUCING the OWNER and GALLERY in my next blog posting.

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