An Efficient Way to Schedule Follow-Up

A potential new client has delighted me with his efficiency. He schedules follow-up on the spot. Here's what I mean:

On Monday we met by phone and agreed I would give him a proposal on Thursday. In the Monday call, he said, "Okay. Let's schedule a meeting now to discuss your proposal. I'll read your proposal when you send it on Thursday, so how's Friday?" We scheduled our next meeting at that moment. We didn't have to exchange messages or phone calls to set it up.

When we met by phone on Friday, we agreed that he would review other people's proposals, check my references, and talk with his boss. He said, "I should be ready with my decision next Thursday. Let's schedule a meeting for Thursday afternoon." Again, we added the new meeting to our calendars on the spot.

When I told the new client his efficiency impressed me, he said, "It keeps me honest." Yes, I can see that it keeps him communicating with others rather than ducking a conversation. That is honesty.

It also keeps him efficient. By taking the initiative, he saves himself and others time, effort, and dozens of messages.

I've decided to adopt his approach. Whenever someone requests a proposal, I will request a scheduled follow-up appointment–to keep us honest and efficient.

Lynn
Syntax Training

Previous articleIn Receipt Of–A Phrase to Banish
Next articleGood Customer Service Overdone and Underdone
Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact. A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors. A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media. Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

3 COMMENTS

  1. That’s a great tip, one I plan to adopt, too. What a timesaver!

    Also, a client like that is a treasure. He demonstrates a respect for his own time and yours that I find immensely gratifying. It presages a rewarding business relationship.

  2. That’s inspiring. I’m going to remember that – I have an awful habit of doing follow up calls to my original calls, and then never seeming to make a good enough connection for a meeting.

    Thank you, Lynn, for sharing!

Comments are closed.