One of the most common detractors to business development momentum is a lack of follow-up. We conclude our business conversations with general, unactionable sentiments like, “let’s stay in touch” or “keep me in mind.” Days pass (or weeks or months) and it becomes crystal clear that no one is keeping anyone in mind for anything. Sure, occasionally there is a random referral from some unexpected source, but these strokes of luck are neither dependable nor sustainable. If you want to establish momentum with someone but you don't have a deliverable for them, trigger your next interaction with either an offer or a request. Here are a few examples:
Offer: I am attending an industry event next week and the speaker is addressing a topic I think you’ll find interesting. Would you like to join me?
Offer: May I send you some materials about the additional services we offer to our clients in case you encounter someone who would be interested in engaging us?
Request: Can you put me in touch with the appropriate person in your client’s organization who makes decisions about engaging services like mine?
Request: I noticed you are connected to Sally Jones on LinkedIn. I do a lot of business with companies like hers. Would you be willing to make an introduction?
Follow-up actions such as these rekindle momentum and maintain a mutually productive dialogue. They also keep your relationships from slipping into the abyss of neglect.