Always Follow Up
So you met someone recently. You had a great conversation. You exchanged cards. Heck, you even promised to follow up and try to “schedule something” like a coffee or lunch.
A day goes by.
A week goes by.
A month goes by.
You find the card again.
Momentary pucker factor sets in.
You dropped the ball. Oh no! So what do you do now?
Well you could certainly toss the card. They didn’t hear from you but on the other hand, you didn’t hear from them either. A bit of confidence begins to creep back into your body. Yeah that’s right, they could have called me too you say to yourself. Now you’re a little bit hurt. Maybe even a bit angry. What the hell? We had such a great conversation why didn’t they contact me like they said they would?
Now feeling completely absolved from having any blame in the situation you toss the card into the old desk drawer never to be seen again.
And you will have made the second mistake in this scenario. The first one is fixable. The second one is just plain ignorant.
Here’s the deal, yes you should have been a better steward of your commitments. You said you would follow up and you absolutely should have. In fact, you should have followed up the very next day but at a minimum, no more than three days after you met. That was mistake number one but relax it isn’t fatal. People who meet people all the time say “we’ll get together” and a high, high percentage of them fail to follow through. So your new buddy, he probably thinks you’re that guy or gal. You know the one he meets that never follows up. And there’s still time to fix that.
The second mistake is to do nothing. To toss the card into the depths of your desk drawer only to be lost to a world of possibilities all because of your ego.
So, what should you do?
Easy. Own it. You screwed up. You had all the intention in the world to follow up right after the event where you two met but didn’t. The words “I’m sorry for not following up sooner” are a magical way to reengage someone you’ve clearly shown an interest in getting to know better. If you back that statement up with a heartfelt question “Will you forgive me?” instead of some lame ass excuse like you were busy, work’s been horrible, blah blah blah then I can almost guarantee you it will be well received.
So here’s the deal. Life puts certain people in your path for a very specific reason. Don’t let your ego get in the way of a good thing. We all screw up in the follow up department from time to time. Own it. Apologize for it. Ask for forgiveness. Then buy your new buddy lunch instead of your typical cheap ass alternative “let me buy you a cup of coffee.”
Hey, don’t give me that look…you’re the one who screwed up buddy…not me. So now it’s time to pay, a little crow and a good meal go a long way to building a good relationship.