3 Quick tips on effective Follow-up
Updated: Jan 26
I'm a rather "to-the-point" kind of person. When I say three quick tips on effective follow-up, I mean "Okay here are your three bullet-points."
Follow-up should contain RELEVANT information.
Ever talked with a company about a widget and said something along the lines of "send me some information on it does"? Usually, you get a whole slew of things: When it was created, the history of the company, why they built it, how many colors it comes in, what it functionally does, how many units can be delivered, how much it costs, their corporate charity programs. Notice only one thing in that list answers your question. Are you likely to take action on the one thing? Maybe, but it's certainly not because of extra irrelevant details given.
What do you think it's like for your client to get that same mass blast of information that they really don't care about? They have to dig for it and we all know, it's easier to ignore change that to dig out the information needed to assist change.
This is why personally-typed email follow-ups are so much more effective. Straight to the point with only what they need. No useless details, or information they didn't ask for, just actionable communications.
Imagine now the above email comes to you and contains: Name of widget, functionally what it does, demonstrations of the widget in action, alternate uses for the widget, contact info for ordering. Now, are you likely to take action? Certainly.
It should be worth noting though, LINKS to marginally-related information can be included without compromising the point. But your original message, and these tangential data, are received better if addressed only as the question is asked.
Follow-up should contain information in different mediums.
Delivering content after a session helps the student to review what was learned and take action on what was covered. Emailing this content is pretty simple and allows for easy access to the material and encourages engagement with the material.
But when you consider the variety of people we work with, the medium you are communicating in matters. eBooks, PDFs, and videos are all great mediums for post-session educational content emailed to students. Each of these has its own benefits that can help the student learn the material more effectively.
- eBooks are often highly visual and interactive, making them great for studying.
- PDFs are great for printing out and taking notes on.
- Videos are great for providing a visual aid to understanding complex concepts.
When possible, include as wide a variety as you can on what you are teaching to give your students the best chance of success!
You should follow-up quickly, but not immediately.
An email came at 10am on Monday morning. It was a follow-up to the coaching session you attended just an hour ago on using a new software. You read through the email, nodding your head in agreement as you skimmed the content. Yes, this would be helpful to reference later. You hit 'reply' and type out a quick thank you before getting back to work.
Sometime next week, you sit down at your computer to begin using the new software. But after a few minutes of fiddling around, you realize you don't really remember how to do anything. You open up the email again and scan through the content more carefully this time. But it's all still a bit of a blur. If only you had taken the time to reinforce what you learned shortly after meeting with the coach when everything was still fresh in your mind. Instead, you get to spend extra time relearning the material. Go you!
It's often said that timing is everything. When it comes to reinforcement after a learning event, this couldn't be more true. If reinforcement occurs too soon after the event, it's often ignored or mentally logged as reference material without reinforcement. If it occurs too late, much of the information is already lost. The ideal window for reinforcement is 2-12 hours after the learning event. Within this timeframe, students are able to more durably assimilate information and put it into practice without spending extra time trying to relearn material they've already forgotten.
There you go.
I challenge you to add these to your next few follow-up routines. Test what kind of an impact this has on your client's learning. Let me know what happens.