Episode 21- How to followup to create strong impressions?
In this episode, Ravi & Rajesh talk about ‘how to follow up to create strong impressions’. They talk about what one shouldn’t do first. Be a contributor & not just a consumer. Build trust before a transaction. Being a good listener is key. Add value first!
Ravi: Hello there. This is episode number 21 of Spontaneous Conversations. Welcome and this is Ravi Gundlapalli founder, CEO of MentorCloud.
Rajesh: Hello there. This is Rajesh Setty. I’m a co-conspirator with Ravi Gundlapalli. I’m an entrepreneur, author and speaker.
Ravi: Excellent Rajesh. So in this episode you know we just thought of this topic about you just met somebody very exciting and what can people do as a follow up to really create a strong impression in the other person.
Rajesh: Yes, so this will be about follow up and it is conversation number 21. It’s a great number. So I will first to talk about what you should not do Ravi first thing because you meet someone, they first send you a LinkedIn connection and immediately they launch on a sales campaign. “I will be a good partner for you, can we get a 30 minute slot so that we can tell you how excited we are and it will be an amazing opportunity.” That’s something you should not do. It’s like meeting a girl for a date and say, “Can you marry me?” End of things. That is too fast. What you should also not do is give an impression that you are there for consuming and not contributing.
Ravi: You’re simply asking something already.
Rajesh: Yes. So my theory is the first few things is the person has to trust you to do any transaction ever even if he does not want to translate to transaction directly, even if there is an opportunity for an indirect transaction. You always tell people that you your friends may not be an opportunity for you because the software is not relevant, but they may be an opportunity for your friends software company or an offer. You keep teaching that and that’s an indirect opportunity for me even for that to happen if the person does not trust you there’s going to fail.
Ravi: Excellent. So you said you really highlighted some things that people should not do, is immediately ask for things and immediately start offering some sort of partnership ideas. So, I would like to add to that Rajesh’s. In any conversation I would really urge people to be good listeners, because if I’m meeting is a serial entrepreneur who has been successful I really admire the person, you really have to listen to pick what are the things that they care about. Let’s say they say that they really care about a particular non-profit rather than you asking for something you may want to first of all, provide value. You want to say, “Hey, during a conversation. I really enjoyed it. And you mentioned something about you, how much you do in the area of poverty eradication or education. Here is a good article I found on education you might like.” So really show that you listened and then you are providing value on an issue that the person cares about. Imagine the level of friendship that really builds Rajesh.
Rajesh: Yeah. I totally agree with you Ravi. Basically, if you don’t demonstrate that you care for what they care about why do you expect them to care about what you care about?
Ravi: Exactly. It’s very ironical. So you have to care about what they care about and provide value. At least I would say for the first few weeks, don’t ask because asking puts you in a position of weakness. Giving puts you in a position of strength.
Rajesh: I totally agree. So that’s in my talks Ravi I always say if you want the ultimate competitive advantage. Right. If the ultimate competitive advantage is to develop a capability to give incredible value to people at a very low incremental cost to you.
Ravi: With a very low effort give something that they just completely get blown away. Like some something that like, “Oh wow I just met this guy. I don’t even know him and he’s sending me something very exciting.” That’s the impression you want to create.
Ravi: So what you’re saying is a follow up need not be, “Oh, by the way. Very nice to meet you. Oh, can I get this or can I get that, or can you connect me to somebody?” The first step, almost it can take two weeks, it can take two months is to build a trust that you are worthy of the other person to care about you. To be worthy, you have to give. Correct?
Rajesh: I agree. The second step, if I can make up because we are making up things as we go along. The second step is to show that you are a positive possibility in the future they are creating for themselves.
Ravi: Interesting. So you’re going to be a value in the future, which means you have to be a listener to what they care about and what they’re working on.
Rajesh: Correct. That goes without saying. And the third step is actually to prove it not just with an intention, but actually with some action which is what you keep telling. You are to settle them and it has to be demonstrable proof that you are a possible positive possibility in the future they’re creating for themselves. However big they are they have a future they are creating for themselves. Otherwise they lose interest in like.
Ravi: Very good. I think for that step prior. It’s also important when you meet people is to really make yourself known as to what areas are areas where you are really good at because not everybody’s good in every area so you met this other person he may be good in maybe let’s say five areas. There may be areas the other person cares about which is a strength of yours. You can either by being a good listener, you can actually say that look if you are looking for anyone in this space I can help you. So always often help in areas of your strength so that you become a future possibility.
Rajesh: Yeah. In fact, the answer to make it a no brainer for them you should not put some work on them to figure out how you can help them. You should almost do that work yourself. That’s why I always think that people have to develop foundational skills like for example you deeply study creativity or philosophy or out of the box marketing or something unique that you can add value on to almost anything you want. Like if they have trouble with marketing can you infuse some creativity to bolster their marketing. If they have trouble with go to market, if they have trouble with breaking through to an account. Can you do some creative stuff? When you get that foundational skills that almost always can upgrade whatever they are doing to a whole new level you have an amazing advantage.
Ravi: That’s very true. So that means first you have to have a lot to offer to the world. That instead of just being a consumer, you have to be a giver and you talk about this beautiful thing about in the foundational skills because you may assume that everybody has them but maybe what you have is specific gold for somebody else.
Rajesh: Yeah, something like storytelling, for example. You ask them, “What do you do?” and then they say something very technical or something you say, if you’re very good with analogies, “Oh, you are like that or this,” and suddenly you give them some immediate value that right in that conversation they say, “Oh my God. This person told what I am doing better than what I was telling to the world.”
Ravi: What I’m hearing you both of us kind of you know come up here is a real good follow up is actually adding value not asking value. Good you’re adding value and in the process, you’re building trust.
Rajesh: Beautifully said.
Ravi: Why did you think of this topic is because this is where most relationships end up in one meeting or two meetings and then they go away. But if you really want to build a lasting relationship with somebody this first step is so important, you know, a quick phone call to say thank you for the time that you spent. I want to bring in this element of gratitude as part of the follow up. And you’re the author of the book gratitude Rajesh. So tell me, how does gratitude play in this in this follow up situation?
Rajesh: Yeah, many times Ravi, people take other people for granted without even realizing that they’re taking them for granted. So you met this person, especially if the person is really powerful, you yourself would have got immediate value from that conversation because of the nature of the person, accomplishments, branding and the insights they bring to the table. Just showing them that you didn’t take it for granted and almost, for example, recording what said and repeating back and saying, “This is how I’m using what you helped me with in this conversation. I’m thankful for the insights and advice and everything.” Second way you can express gratitude is that suppose you have a blog and then you share that learning with credits to that person. So it’s easy for you valuable for them. You boosted their personal branding. How are number of visitors are there for it, It doesn’t matter. But you took the effort to give back something as a form of gratitude.
Ravi: Plus, you also showed that you actually listened and you caught those key insights that other person has shared and you’re not letting it, vanish into thin air. You’re documenting it and you’re replaying back to the other person saying, “This is what I learned from you.” The other person may not have even realized that these insights actually came out of his or her mouth.
Rajesh: Totally agreed. I have done this time and again Ravi that when I go to a conference if I see an amazing speaker, so many times I sit in the front of the line and then we have Instagram or something. So take a key insight, take their photo and then there is a software called Word Swag. And then I super impose that insight on their photo then right then and there, tag them and post it on Facebook and Twitter because their Twitter handle and Facebook page, everything will be displayed anyway. What I am doing is the first of all I am capturing it for myself, very grateful and I have a big enough network on both the platforms and I make it so colorful that it took me three minutes but now I amplified the knowledge sharing to my network.
Ravi: Fantastic Rajesh. So I think the summary of today’s follow up is definitely has to have a sense of gratitude. You have to show that you value the other person’s time and effort. And second, you are adding value because you listened to something the other person cares about. And then you are either sending them a video or an article but there’s absolutely no ask which is really counterintuitive to what 99.9% people do.
Rajesh: I totally agree because the road less traveled Ravi they get a premium, others will get a penalty. That’s what will happen.
Ravi: Yeah. And so we really hope our listeners really build the skill because if you go to conferences, you are traveling on an airplane, you are meeting people all the time. In fact, I used to tell one of my mentees that when he’s on a plane always dress well, shave nicely because you don’t know University shave so that because just because you’re traveling. Don’t assume that nobody cares because somebody sitting next to you could be a customer, could become a friend for you for life. So I would always tell him you know shave, wear a good dress and really have a conversation and make it so valuable that the person says, “Oh, be in touch with me,” and in this follow up situation that we just love what you just talked about, imagine when you meet those people in your everyday lives how many relationships you can build and you don’t need 100. 10 good relationships can change your life.
Rajesh: Beautifully said Ravi. With that should we conclude this episode?
Ravi: Yes, absolutely. Following up is the most important step to build a relationship, whether it is for romance or for business or for friendship that first step is going to plant the seed that can grow into a beautiful relationship in the long term.
Rajesh: I totally agree. Without good follow up skills, you will not reach the last mile. So you have to learn it, you have to pay the price to learn it or you’ll pay the price by not learning it.
Ravi: Yeah, you’re to learn it to earn it. With that thank you for listening episode number 21. This is Ravi Gundlapalli. You can learn more about me at mentorcloud.com.
Rajesh: And this is Rajesh Setty, Ravi’s partner and you can read more about me at rajeshsetty.com.
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