I guess I have known for a long time the importance of communication in business.
Today though, I had a telephone conversation that reminded me again of the importance of making sure that your communication is effective.
Last year, I had a meeting with David to discuss an opportunity for us to work together on delivering a support package. I followed up on the meeting earlier this year by sending an email, only to find that the project had stalled and was unlikely to generate any new leads for me.
Then in a conversation with Gordon (a mutual contact) today, I learned that he and David were working on another project which could generate opportunities for me.
That was when I realised that I had learned something important…
Firstly, I had assumed that the door was closed on the opportunity to work alongside David and Gordon. I had taken the email reply as the end of the conversation and therefore had not planned to do any further follow up.
Had I not had the conversation with Gordon about a totally separate thing then I could well have missed out on the new opportunity.
How does that apply to you?
Consider how many sales opportunities you have considered to be closed that might still be open? The ones where you might not have heard from them for a while? What about potential referral partners that haven’t been in touch for a while, so you perhaps have ‘given up’ on them?
My advice would be to come up with a list of those that you have assumed are ‘dead’ leads and opportunities and get in touch.
But before you do, I want to share my second lesson…
Make sure you choose an appropriate method of communication.
I had chosen to send an email, if I am being honest, because it was quicker and easier. When in actual fact it would probably have been more effective to pick up the telephone and speak to David.
Had I taken the time to have that conversation, I might have learned that there were other projects being considered and had planned to do follow up accordingly.
So, ask yourself…
What potential opportunities are on your list?
Who you should follow up today?
And, is it better to pick up the phone rather than email?
I would love to hear how you get on.