SWINGERS 5 Keys to Giving Good Follow-Up    
By Jessica Sitomer

Do you remember the scene from Swingers when Mike, played by Jon Favreau, asked his buddies how long should he wait to call the girl he just met? Their advice went from a day, to two days, and after much debate ended with six days.

He decided to call her that night. Most people remember the uncomfortable debacle of follow up calls that Mike left for Nikki, until finally she picked up and said, “Don’t ever call me again!”

Follow up can cause a lot of discomfort for people, and if you read my article “The Devil Wears Prada Are You Making These 5 Interviewing Mistakes,” you know that the number 5 mistake was No follow up plan. So, let’s talk about follow up and take the discomfort out of this very important practice.  

Here are 5 tips for follow up that will help you prepare, implement, work through fear, and continue good practices:

1.    Prepare For Follow Up: This tip helps with follow up because it takes the guesswork out of the equation. While in a discussion with a person, point out a topic about which you will follow up. For example, if the person brings up a movie you haven’t seen, you can say, “Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll give you a call after I’ve seen it and let you know what I thought.” Or if the person mentions someone you’d like to meet, make a note to follow up the next day and request an email introduction.   

2.    Follow Up Immediately: Forget about what the Swingers guys say, follow up the next day with a “Nice to meet you yesterday,” or “Thank you for taking the time to speak with me and share your advice.” Following up the next day helps them remember you. Waiting makes it harder on you to follow through with a follow up, and harder on them to recall who you are.   

3.    If You Don’t Follow Up Immediately: So, some of you will not take my advice and procrastinate on the follow up. That does not mean you are off the hook. Nope! Push through those fears and do it! It’s never to late to follow up. The worst that can happen is that they don’t remember you and you get the chance to reintroduce yourself. People are busy, they are not waiting for your follow up, so no more excuses. Get it done.     

4.    Create Follow Up Materials In Advance: Make it easy for yourself. Write a standard thank you/follow up note which you can tailor to the people you meet. If you are truly ambitious, write out a follow up campaign, enough for 3-7 “touches.” Buy note cards in advance. Print out follow up materials in bulk so that you have them available.

5.    Follow Up on Follow Up: In #4 I mentioned a campaign. Usually, one follow up is not enough. Follow up on your follow up. Be sure people received materials you sent. Ask for something in a first follow up, so you can follow up on what you asked for in a second follow up, should you not hear back after the first.  
How much follow up is too much follow up? Re-watch Jon Favreau’s uncomfortable phone message scene.

And Action!
1.    Prepare 3 questions you can ask when you meet someone, which will lead to necessary follow up.
2.    Write 3 different generic follow up notes; “thank you,” “nice meeting you,” and “here’s what you requested.”
3.    If you’re ambitious, write a 7 piece follow up campaign.

Forget what the guys from Swingers taught you, if you are polite in your follow up, it is considered HELPFUL to industry professionals