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The Art of Follow-up, Follow-through and Digging Wells

29 October, 2007 (23:38) | Business, Life | By: Nick Dalton

A week ago I attended the jvAlert Live conference in Long Beach. Typically you return from a conference with a head full of ideas and a pocket full of business cards. If you leave it at that, you have just wasted a lot of time and money on the conference.

My goal was to follow-up with every person I met at the conference within a week. This seems like a simple, and courteous, thing to do. But I’ve been amazed at how few people even take that simple action. In the past week I’ve received a total of 3 emails from other conference attendees. Two of them were from speakers – they obviously know the importance of follow-up. One email was a form email that literally began: “It was a pleasure meeting with you at [Event Name] in [City and State].” But maybe I’m just not a very interesting guy to keep in touch with…

One of the main benefits of attending a live event is to make personal connections that can lead to future joint venture deals. Even though the name of the conference is jvAlert you need approach new potential JV partners with tact. Here are some suggestions.

Learn something about your potential JV partner

Each evening when I get back to my hotel room I always write down notes about the people I’ve met during the day. It can be things like when their birthday is, or a shared interest that we discovered during our conversation. Mention some of this personal information when you contact the person again.

You should also sign up to any mailing list and blog RSS feed that the potential JV partner has. Read regularly to learn what topics are common, how often third party products are promoted, etc.

If you are really serious you can purchase a product, or join a coaching program if there is one. Becoming a customer will give you an instant relationship.

Offer to do something for your potential JV partner

Ask if the person has a product that you can promote to your list. If you have a very small list a better option might be to write a review of the product on your blog.

If you’re good at writing offer to write a guest blog entry for their blog. Make sure that you write on a topic that fits the blog.

Harvey Mackay has written a book called Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty. The premise is that you should become valuable to your network of contacts before you need to request something from them. Some people call this The Law of Reciprocity. It’s the same basic premise: if you do something nice for somebody without asking for anything in return, they will feel compelled to reciprocate the favor.

Do something unusual

Everybody in this business gets an avalanche of emails every day. Be different. Send a postcard or a handwritten note instead of an email.

If you want to send out a lot of cards you may want to use a system like SendOutCards.

21 More Tips

Darren Rowse at ProBlogger has a great post today called How to Pitch to Bloggers – 21 Tips. Most of the tips apply equally well when you’re approaching a potential JV partner. Highly recommended reading.


Even though you had a great meeting with somebody at the conference it is very likely that you’re not at the top of their priority list when they get back to the daily grind of running their business and catching up on all the tasks that stacked up while they were spending a few days at the event.

Send an email as soon as you get home thanking the person for a great meeting, include some information to refresh their memory of who you are, and a recap of your conversation.

In the daily deluge of emails it’s very likely that your first email will be put in the “I’ll get back to that later” pile. Send a friendly reminder. Be polite, but persistent.

If you show that you are persistent and that you follow-up, you demonstrate that you will do the same in a future joint venture deal.


When you say that you’re going to do something, make sure that you follow-through and do it. Your failure to do so will create a long lasting impression. Consistent follow-through will put you ahead of 98% of your competitors. JV partners will come back wanting to do more deals with you because they know they can count on your actions.

What have you done to follow-up on the latest conference that you attended?

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