One of the most powerful things you care do in the relationship building process is to let someone know how they’ve helped you learn, grow or succeed. We’re presented opportunities to provide those who’ve helped us with feedback on positive results constantly, yet few people actually follow through.
An introduction may help you close a deal.
Product feedback may inspire an enhanced iteration.
Advice over coffer may dramatically change the shape of your career.
Each one of these interactions represents an instance where someone else has afforded you their time, energy, or reputation to enhance your well-being. Sharing the fruits you’ve reaped from their labor accomplishes a few things:
- It enables the person who helped you to confirm that their sacrifice was worthwhile.
- It portrays you as grateful and appreciative.
- It informs that person that they’ve made your life better.
All of these things not only cultivate intimacy, but also make this person more likely to help you again.
I want to provide a framework for how you can handles these situations starting with two concrete examples.
Let’s say that someone made an email introduction that resulted in you accomplishing something like a sale:
I just wanted to thank you again for introducing me to Chris. Since connecting us, I was actually able to set up a demo and it looks like we’ll be doing business together. We’re going to start with a 6 month trial, than take it from there.
Thanks again for making the connection Mike. I was able to hit my Q4 revenue goals because of this deal : )
How about advice:
I just wanted to thank you again for the advice on breaking into business development. Since we met, I’ve made it a practice to comment on a few BD blogs when I can add value to the discussion. I’ve been able to segway these interactions into coffee meetings and was actually able to land a part-time business development internship with Company Z from one meeting! Starting next month, I’ll be helping build out their partner network which I could not be more excited about.
It’s crazy to think that this awesome opportunity all started out with commenting on a blog. Thanks again for the great advice and being a catalyst towards my professional growth.
The formula for a follow up progress report is pretty simple.
Step 1: Thank them again for their help
Step 2: Outline how their help has resulted in a positive change and provide specific details
Step 3: Acknowledge that this positive outcome could not have been achieved without them
Every time someone makes an introduction or gives you their personal time upon your request, it’s always a best practice to follow to up with feedback on how their efforts have contributed towards your progress. On a personal level, this strengthens your relationship and encourages this person to help you again…but on a grander scale, we might hope that this practices provokes people to continue helping others because positive feedback aids in sustaining any action.
I’m interested, what are other scenarios that you can provide a follow-up progress report after someone has helped you out? Does anyone have any examples of how this aided their relationship building process?