Do you consistently ensure you do business follow up? Or do you shudder when I say that word? For many entrepreneurs, follow up is very difficult. They hate being “professionally annoying,” as I call it. Pursuing businesses or a clients can seem scary!
The reality of it is, when you follow up and are persistent, it pays off!
If you scroll through past episodes of my podcast, Success Unfiltered, you’ll see interviews with many seven and eight figure entrepreneurs, and founders of recognizable brands.
How did I get them on the show?
I was willingly professionally annoying: I pitched, and followed up!
The creator of the Passion Planner, Angelia Trinidad, told me NO when I first asked her to be on the show almost two years ago. After consistent and regular connection with Angelia she said YES after the 6th or so follow up!
I even interviewed Mel Robbins (again, because I was willing to be “professionally annoying)!
It’s that ability to be “professionally annoying” and follow up that has helped me get so many successful people on Success Unfiltered and help share those nitty gritty stories of real-life entrepreneurship with all of you.
Sanja Hatter, a guest on the Success Unfiltered Podcast, and creator of the Thrive Conference has mastered the art of being professionally annoying, connecting with influencers and industry leaders, and inviting them to be speakers.
Persistence and Business Follow Up
Sanja has become a master at business follow up.
The Thrive Conference, a three day conference held in Las Vegas every year, is all about entrepreneurship and helping people be their best and find their purpose. That means that the speaker lineup has to be spectacular and inspiring.
Sanja is constantly listening to her community, looking for the right people.
She pitches frequently, especially to those speakers the Thrive community wants to hear from. They give Sanja feedback and she listens and then reaches out: her audience knows who they like!
For every hundred pitches she sends out, she gets maybe 20 responses. But that’s not a sign to give up: in fact, it spurs her onward.
“Rejection is fuel,” she says. “Just keep going.”
The squeaky wheel is the one that gets the oil, so use your follow up as a way of being the squeaky wheel, and get attention!
Getting Through Gatekeepers
Most of the time, you have to get creative to get access to the people that you’re trying to reach.
Sanja knew that she wanted one particular person to speak at Thrive, and wasn’t getting very far through traditional methods. When she realized that she knew someone who knew the guy, she asked for an introduction!
Once that introduction was made, Sanja was in! She wasn’t just another pitch anymore: she was a trusted connection.
By going through a gatekeeper, or someone who was already connected with the person she wanted to be connected to, Sanja was able to build a relationship with that individual.
Do you have someone you want to be connected to? An investor or an influencer you want to work with?
Research is important! Get to know who their gatekeepers are! These key people may be the connection that you already have, or just the thing that you need to be able to connect with the perfect relationship that you’re looking for!
How to Stand Out
You may have a dream investor, or client. But how can you stand out when you think you have NO connections to them?
It’s all about creativity!
Maybe you’re going to be like one of Sanja’s friends, who sent her dream client one shoe, telling them she was trying to get a foot in the door. She eventually sent the other, but you can bet that she got their attention!
Here are a few tips to help you stand out while pitching.
Keep it Short
Are you looking to work with an influencer, and want them to speak at your conference? Don’t send them pages and pages of information! Just ask one question: Do you like to speak on stage?
They’re going to see that message, and think “has she seen my Instagram!? I absolutely do!”
Door opened, and conversation started.
When you send too much, you blend in with the countless pitches they already hear day after day. Keep it short, and get them interested right from the start!
Perhaps, like Sanja’s friend, you’re trying to get a foot in the door. But you’re not quite sure how to do that.
Do your homework, and learn about the person that you are trying to connect with! If they have an Instagram, they are giving you all the information that you need to pitch.
Does your target client have a hobby or collection? Learn about it, and find them something that will help complete their collection, or be useful in their hobby.
Taking the time to get to know about them will help you stand out. When you’re thoughtful, they’re going to often reach out to you to thank you, and then, you’ll be able to start your conversation.
When you go out of your way to try something new, chances are, you’ll stand out.
Be willing to step away from traditional pitches, and the gifts that you see often being sent.
Someone sent Sanja a Thrive skateboard as part of their pitch once, and it stands out even today. (Sanja loves skateboarding.) That person took the time to do something that would set them apart, and it paid off! They also did their research to learn what Sanja loved and was interested in!
Follow up, or being “professionally annoying” can be hard at first, but once you incorporate this discipline into your business, you’ll see results.
Are you good at following up? Tell me in the comments!
If you’re struggling with follow up, I have a gift for you! Head to my YouTube video all about How to Follow Up without being annoying!!