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It’s all in the follow through

Develop a muscle memory around follow through and follow up to get ahead in the business development game.

I n the sports world, most any athlete knows the importance follow through has on their ability to hit an object or move in a certain direction. Most athletes also know that when they anticipate the thought, and hold back on follow through, it will alter their body mechanics, so hitting an object or moving in a certain direction often becomes less powerful and/or less accurate.

Roger Marquis

In the field of business development, follow through or follow up works much in the same way. When a business developer dedicates a certain amount of time, energy, and resources into connecting with a prospect, often the full potential of that connection (i.e., the power and accuracy for an athlete) will not be realized if the business developer holds back on their follow through. Let’s look at a couple of examples to better illustrate the point. ❚ ❚ Mixed messages. As you conduct your market research, you learn John Doe is a person with whom to connect because John is a key stakeholder in most any building design project with which his company gets involved. Knowing this, you take the time to craft a compelling introduction email, and,

with a certain degree of confidence, you send it to him. One week passes, then another, then another, and you never hear back from John. Because of this, you believe he isn’t interested in meeting with you and learning more about your product offering, so you move on. But what if you followed up on your initial email and, in doing so, learned John had been on vacation for 10 days and your email simply got lost in his inbox? John, it turns out, is very interested in your company’s product, and looks forward to meeting with you. Without follow through you would have written off John entirely, but with it you learn you’re still in the game. ❚ ❚ Top of mind. Suppose you go to an industry event one February afternoon and find yourself talking

See ROGER MARQUIS, page 12


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