How Not to be a “Follow-Up Pest”

April 19th, 2012 by Bob Bly

One area of uncertainty among service providers is how often to follow up with prospects.

Not often enough and you may lose an opportunity to another vendor who is more visible.

Too often and  you risk being an annoyance.

One technique that helps is to make sure you are NOT being a pest when you follow up.

Whether I am following  up by phone or e-mail, the first thing I say is “I don’t want to be a pest, but … ” followed by a brief description of why I am calling.

This works amazingly well. Almost without fail, the prospect replies, “You’re not being a pest — I am glad you followed up!”

I don’t know what about “I don’t want to be a pest, but” works. I only know that it works like magic.


This entry was posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 9:27 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

849 responses about “How Not to be a “Follow-Up Pest””

  1. Brie Wallace said:

    Great timing with this post! I’ve been wondering about followups lately myself and had the same dilemma you mentioned: Too soon and I’m a bother, too infrequent and I could lose an opportunity.


  2. Matt Ambrose said:

    I’ve got another one. When chasing clients for payment, and they’re not responding, start your message with ‘I’m starting to get concerned’. Works a treat!

  3. Bob Bly said:

    Matt: I like that! I assume it works?

  4. Matt Ambrose said:

    It’s worked every time so far.

  5. Nell Terry said:

    I’m definitely going to try this approach. I also like the term “touching base”. I use that all the time when I’m following up, and it’s seemed to work so far…

  6. sunila sharma said:

    dear mr bly

    i’m an unknown person who writes poetry,
    though i don’t read much written by others
    i’ve been told by a good friend that i must try to show you my pages.

    could i please send you some poems to know what you think of them?

    i didn’t know how to contact you, and a web search led me here

  7. Bob Bly said:

    Sunila: What would be my incentive for spending my limited and valuable time reading poems by a person I don’t know?

  8. Nick Nordstrom said:

    There is an American poet named Robert Bly. I’m thinking Sunila’s got her Bob Bly’s mixed up.

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