Pest Perspectives - July/August 2015 - (Page 27)

operational excellence Remissed Connections The Importance of Traditional Follow Up in a Non-Traditional Business World By Russell Trahan, PR/PR B ryan walked into his office and flipped on the lights. It had been one month since his presentation and proposal submission to an industry-leading executive team, and that morning was to be the date of their decision on whether to retain his firm. A look to the phone - no blinking light signifying a voicemail. A scroll through his Outlook inbox - nothing. Securing this contract was to be a pivotal moment in his career, and sure to be the determining factor in his upward trajectory in his office. The minutes turned to hours and no word, and the slight anxiety became increasingly worrisome. Bryan had covered his bases and kept in touch; just last week he engaged in some brief social media banter with the team's CFO. Simple enough to maintain an air of informality and ensure the lines of communication remained open. His inbox dinged: it was the company's CFO. "Bryan, we appreciate your proposal submission, but we have decided to go in another direction. We require more consistent interaction from our business partners, and while we scheduled today to finalize our decision, we had yet to hear | from you in the interim. We wish you the best of luck." The email hit him like a freight train. He had avoided a formal follow-up process in fear of seeming overeager or pressuring his prospect, but had maintained casual connections through his LinkedIn and Facebook accounts just to keep his name top-of-mind. While Bryan assumed the company would appreciate his distance while they were in the process of making their decision, it actually became the nail in his corporate coffin. They were awaiting his traditional methods of follow up, and his lack of correspondence instead conveyed that he was not the right man for the job. In an ever-expanding digital business landscape, Bryan's story is all too familiar. Many working professionals are exchanging established means of follow up, such as phone calls and face-toface meetings, for quick messages over social media or email, and it is impacting their business relationships and bottom-lines. They sacrifice professional courtesy in an attempt to appear casual, and regardless of the many ways we can now communicate, when it comes to follow up, the best practices are the traditional practices. Social Media is for Building Business Connections - Not Maintaining Them Have you encountered a friend or relative that limits all contact with you to digital convenience? That one person who never fails to have a comment reserved for your timeline or feed, but you cannot recall the last time you actually spoke? These individuals also exist in the business realm, and they've attempted to streamline their communication with an overkill-level reliance on their social media accounts. It's not just a bad business practice - it's bad overall form. Social media can prove invaluable when creating connections, but maintaining them - as is the objective when conducting follow-up on a potential deal - should always be reserved for traditional modes of correspondence. Anything less borders on lazy and unprofessional. Avoid the "Are We There Yet?" Once you've curbed your inclination for social media-centric follow up, there are parameters that should be adhered to when following up with leads. The first - and most important - is to establish an agenda when touching base with your prospects, and ensuring that each subsequent call or meeting Pest Perspectives 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pest Perspectives - July/August 2015

presidential perspective Growing Stronger with Partnerships
FPMA at 20th Annual Southeast Pest Management Conference
FPMA in the 21st Century
Pyranha and Auto Mist Champion Automated Mosquito Control
marketing matters How to Create a Positive Online Presence for Your Business
FPMA Leadership Program Takes a Pause, Returning in 2017
capitol concerns Winners and Losers of the 2015 Regular Session
operational excellence Remissed Connections: The Importance of Traditional Follow Up in a Non-Traditional Business World
FPMA corner
advertiser index

Pest Perspectives - July/August 2015