When I am inviting someone to a training I know that follow-up is key.
The people I am recruiting are busy and have a lot on their minds. If I don’t follow up I am not giving them an adequate chance to benefit from the experience.
And if I don’t think they might benefit, then why would I reach out in the first place?
But I hate to feel like I’m spamming people or being repetitive or –eek! passive aggressive– with my message (“just a friendly follow-up!”)
So here are 20 ways I aim to “add value” in my follow-up messages to feel more confident that I’m offering something of value to them and their lives instead of wasting their precious time.
- A Genuine Compliment
- I try to say something kind about their work, the more personal the better. “Hey, I just caught your article in The Forge and I appreciated the framework you shared.”
- Personal Connection
- If we have a personal relationship I might offer greetings to their kids or their partner. “How’s the little one doing? Off to school already? I can’t believe it.”
- Mutual Connection
- If I don’t know the person directly I might build a bridge by mentioning a mutual connection. “Our friend Jordan said you are a brilliant organizer.”
- Restate a Need
- If we’ve spoken before I will restate a need they articulated in a previous discussion that relates to the training. “Last we spoke you mentioned wanting your team to take a more facilitative approach to your trainings.”
- A Resource I Created
- Sometimes I’ll share a resource like a blog or report that relates to a challenge they’ve shared. “Because you mentioned evaluation you might appreciate our blog on the subject.”
- A Resource Someone Else Created
- If I don’t have something that my org created or shared (or if I already shared it) I might share a resource from someone else “You might appreciate this report on transformative metrics.”
- A Testimonial
- When I have a testimonial for the training that may help them see its value, especially from someone who works on a similar issue. “Here’s what one labor leader said about the training.” (And if I don’t have a testimonial I might just put it in my own words.)
- I try to show that I respect their time by keeping my communication brief. I only use one maybe two of the above per communication.
- Make it Simple
- If I am inviting them to a training they can hop on a call. The same simple ask that they can easily say yes to.
- Don’t Give Up
- As long as I am adding value, there is no reason to stop reaching out until they say no. Most people we aim to support are busy, whether organizational leaders or community members, it’s your job to tell them that you won’t give up on them.
Those are some ways I use to try to make follow-up into a meaningful and mutually beneficial process that enhances the likelihood of a positive response.
And while I can’t say I always do these perfectly, my experience is that applying them more often renders results far beyond the alternative.