Recently, I attended a makeup party, hosted by a friend.

I’ve never been one to leave these parties with a bunch of new items, and have never made the effort to reach back out to make a purchase after the party, either.

But this party was a little different.

Unlike times in the past, where I would leave the party and never really think twice about reaching back out to the person who came to show us the products, this time I received a handwritten note from her just a few days later, thanking me for showing up.

Right away, the note reminded me of the great time I had at the party.

My second thought was that I couldn’t believe she actually took the time to write and send a thank you note — what a nice gesture!

I could tell this is someone who is organized, knows her stuff, and cares about the relationships she has with her clients.

If I ever need help picking out a beauty product in the future, I’ll be sure to give her a call.

When you follow up with a potential client or customer, you have the ability to set yourself apart from the competition.

But in order to follow up effectively, there are a few basic principles you need to understand.

Here are 5 tips that will help you perfect the art of the follow-up.

1. Have a clear goal before reaching out.

Reaching out without a purpose will not do any good for your business.

Your goal can’t always be to sell more products, or add another client.

While these will be desired outcomes from reaching out, your goal should be focused on the needs and interests of the person you’re trying to reach first.

Your audience will be able to tell whether your follow-up was mass-produced, or if you actually put thought into your message, and considered their unique interests and problems. This brings us to the next tip.

2. Think about your audience.

Put yourself in their shoes. Would the messages you’re sending resonate with you if you received it from someone trying to do business with you? If the answers no, then it probably isn’t something you want to send to your leads.

But remember that your audience doesn’t only influence the type content you send out; it will also dictate the frequency and timing of the follow-up as well. For example, if your target audience consists of working mothers, you could assume the evenings are not appropriate time to reach out.

This leads us to tip #3.

3. Say thanks.

Don’t overlook the power of a simple thank you.

The thank you note I received from the woman who ran the makeup party, connected with me personally, while also reminding me of the great experience I had at the party.

That doesn’t mean you can’t also use the thank you as a way to demonstrate your value.

If you’re following up, chances are you’ve had the chance to speak with the person before reaching out.

If you’re hosting events, think about the questions people are asking or the topics they seem most interested in. Consider sending them additional information around those topics, as a way to get their attention and demonstrate the value of working with you.

4. Use multiple channels.

You have to be where your audience is, and your first guess may not be the right one. Social media, email, phone calls, and hand written notes are all great ways to follow up with your leads, but you don’t have to use just one technique.

Your lead may be too busy to pick up the phone, but they might have time to read their email or check their social media activity. Make sure you are where they are.

Now, this doesn’t mean you want to overwhelm people with a barrage of information.

Again, use this as an opportunity to put yourself in the place of your audience before deciding how you want to reach out.

Track your results to know what channel your audience is most responsive on. So next time you send out a follow-up note, you know exactly where to begin.

5. Find your hook.

Every business owner has that special hook that makes them unique. Your follow-up communications are the time to let that hook shine!

This is where you can really get into the details of your follow-up.

For example, the decision to send a note, written by hand, rather than typing it out on a computer, shows a lot about her and her business.

Whether you’re sending out a hand-written note, putting together a follow-up email, or are creating a plan for reaching out via social media — the messages you send out should reflect you, your business, and the quality of service you provide.

Send the perfect follow-up

Reminding your leads of what you can do for them and making it as personal as possible can help to bring in your next best customer.

They’re out there waiting for you; all you have to do is reach out to them and invite them to continue your working relationship!

How often do you follow up with your leads? We want to know in the comments below!