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Persistence: Following Up Without Being Annoying

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by David Garland in David's Blog

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Persistence: Following Up Without Being Annoying

In my last blog, I dove into the topics of “Who do you listen to?!” when starting a business and hopefully got you hopping on the correct foot by recommending going to friends and family and asking if they can connect you to proper people to build your business.

If you are still reading, congrats you are not afraid to ask for help. Pat yourself on the back. Group hug. All that jazz.

So, back to the task at hand. One of the most uncomfortable subjects in business is following up with people. To be perfectly blunt, most people suck at following up. Many folks give up after one or two tries of following up or reaching someone. Self doubt often rears its ugly negabot head: “Will this person think I’m annoying?” “Am I calling too much?” “I always get voicemail!” “How often to do I check back in?” “They will never answer!”

Remember persistence is key. I once followed (err..stalked?) NHL great Wayne Gretzky 20 miles in a car with my dad when I was 13 to get an autograph (or five autographs because why not dream big?). It worked. Another time I held up the same sign at a hockey game asking for a hockey stick from a player for twenty games before I got a stick. But guess what, it worked.

I know it sounds a little crazy, but don’t give up if what I tell you doesn’t work the first time, because you may have to go a few more miles at high speed to get what you really want…without being an asshole (asshole = bad).

Here are some tips on being persistent:

1. Create a preferred medium of communication. Example: “Excellent, I would love to meet your super awesome PR contact. Can you send me her information via email?” Some people love email, others hate it. Find the preferred contact method that works.

2. Setting a time table: “Thanks Uncle Cletus for the great PR contact idea. Can I check back at the end of the week if I haven’t heard from you. Us entrepreneurs run at the speed of light!” This could be the one of the top rules. Time tables create accountability.

3. Ignore the sales rules. Give up after three calls? I DON’T THINK SO! The “give up after three calls stupid rule” is about as dated as pleated pants. People are busy. I can’t tell you how many times I reached someone on the 50th call and they said “Oh, you were the NEXT person on my call list to call back. So glad you called!” Annoying for you, YES. Great results, YES.

4. Relevant Emails. Don’t send the classic “just checking in” email. Make it a point as to what you are looking for: advice, sponsorships, contacts, help, a new puppy. Don’t be deceptive.

5. Get out there.
Know where the person you hope to contact hangs out (and I’m not talking about showing up at their house…enjoy dodging cops). What events do they attend? What groups do they belong to? You can of course just show up or even send a friendly warning email: “Hi, Fred. I saw you are a member of the Venture Capital Board. I’m attending their event on the 17th and I look forward to meeting you there.”

Now, go get out there and land some meetings, contacts, help, advice, money, sponsorships, whatever!

And one more thing: I’m giving away a minute of The Rise To The Top on ABC each month to feature YOU to pitch your entrepreneurial idea or talk about your current company. All you have to do is use one of these methods to be automatically entered:
-Follow The Rise To The Top on Twitter
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-Leave a comment on TRTTT episode by clicking “Watch Now” and leave a comment.
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Remember, for every 500 people one more gets selected so tell your friends to sign up. Hey, if they win, tell them they have to give the minute to you 🙂

Live Passionately! – David Siteman Garland – The Creative Opportunities Specialist and Entrepreneurial Chameleon –

8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

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