Follow-up Is Key


Share
Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011, 3:54 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
Dawn Klingensmith, CTW Features

In business, there are certain types of favors that require more than sincere thanks in return.

Jodi Glickman calls this extra step “closing the loop,” or letting the person who helped you know how things turned out.

Especially when she sticks her neck out for people, Glickman, founder of the Chicago-based communication training firm Great on the Job, expects an update. But she also would have liked to know whether a young family friend got accepted into college after she helped him with his essays, since she had invested time and shared in the young man’s excitement.

Failing to close the loop is not just bad form but potentially puts relationships and prospects at risk. Glickman says she’ll think “long and hard” before doing her young friend another favor.

People appreciate recognition and follow-through. No matter the outcome, share what happened, she advises.

Perhaps the young essayist did not get accepted and was embarrassed. Yet he might have written: “While I’m disappointed, I do appreciate all your help. I am still waiting to hear from my second choice and will keep you informed.”

A recommendation certainly requires follow-up. So, too, does a professional introduction.

“With email and social media, I think introductions seem so easy now that sometimes referrals aren’t seen as significant,” says Brandi Britton, a Los Angeles-based district president for the staffing firm Robert Half International.

Depending on the type of introduction, a thank-you note and updates via e-mail may suffice; however, “If someone puts you in touch with a decision maker, a good old-fashioned handwritten note is a nice touch,” she adds.

There’s an on-the-books etiquette rule regarding introductions that makes certain no one is left out of the loop, at least not initially.

“If geographically possible, when you treat the new person to lunch or coffee, you invite the person who introduced you to that first meeting,” says Cynthia Lett, director and CEO of the Lett Group, a business protocol consulting firm in Silver Spring, Md.

Afterward, thank both individuals within 48 hours, Lett says.

A follow-up note need not be more than three sentences:

• Explaining why you’re writing (“Thanks for introducing me to John”);

• What happened or is going to happen (“I sent him my resume at his request”);

• And a positive future intent (“I’ll let you know what happens next” or “I’d like to treat you to lunch to show my thanks”).
















 



Local events heading








  Today is Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.






(More History)