Greetings, friends! I am frequently asked about good Creative Follow Up ideas. I decided to make this a 5 part series, and share with you the most impactful and simpler ways to follow up authentically, personally and creatively.
Creative Follow Up does not require you to be “creative,” or a need to come up with elaborately brilliant ideas. Some people have a knack for it, but most of us just need guidance to execute. We have discovered that top Sherpa performers use Planning and Creative Follow Up consistently, so I can’t underscore enough the importance of this tactic. However, I find that part of the reason we don’t do enough of it has to do with an assumption that it has to be grandiose and brilliant, and that we should spend much time, or money, on it. This is not the case.
Here is my top Creative Follow Up idea. It will take no money and about 15-20 minutes of your time.
A Hand-written, Real Letter
Consider this paragraph from “The art of letter writing” post:
“Notes make people feel known, seen and remembered. A handwritten letter means more now than it did 10 or 20 years ago. With digital communication that takes seconds (and usually less than 140 characters), sending a handwritten note carries much more meaning. A note communicates that the sender took the time to stop their busy day, put down their phone and sit down and think. To write, we have to realize how kind or generous or special or someone is in our life. We have to be aware. We have to be thoughtful and not rushed, communicating what they mean to us. It’s an important process that benefits not only the receiver, but the sender, as well.”
Use a real stamp, on nice stationary, addressed to the Prospective resident, their influencer or both. We all get a ton of email, consider the impact of receiving a real letter and how it sets us apart. Moreover, receiving and sending hand-written notes and letters is how most older adults have communicated with loved ones and acquaintances throughout their lives.
The anatomy of a great letter
I find that these are the components of a great letter when you ask for something of someone else:
First paragraph: What your intentions is (what do you want?)
Second paragraph: It is all about the recipient: how I think about you, who you are to me, how you made an impact on me.
Closing paragraph: Next steps, and make it easy for the reader.
Connect, untangle, advance!
So, my dear friends, here is an example that you may find helpful:
Dear Mrs. Lincoln.
(Start with intention)
I am writing today to ask you if you may consider allowing me to visit you at home sometime. Even though I understand you are unsure about moving at this time, (it is such a big decision!), I do know that it is helpful sometime to be able to think out loud, and I would be honored to help you do that. I was thinking I could bring some lunch from La trattoria, your favorite.
(Talk about the impact they have made on you)
Since we last met I have been thinking about you and your stories. I was especially taken by the tale of falling into the pool and being rescued by your late husband Joe! Clearly, one of the best “how we met” stories I have ever heard. When you mentioned that he is not there to “rescue” you now, I was able to feel the depth of your loss. I am truly sorry.
If I can in any way be part of your rescue team, it would be my honor. I don’t presume to know what is best for you, but I think I can contribute in this journey of transition right now. It has been a real honor to meet you. Please send my regards to Susan, what a wonderful daughter you have,
My number is __________, Call me anytime if you would like a visit. I am free for lunch any time this week.
♥Helpful Tip: If you have not yet met the prospect, or you don’t have their address, try sending it to the adult influencer (to mom, care of daughter) , asking him or her to share with mom, if they feel it is appropriate. Also, if you have not met the prospect, include a picture of you in the envelope.
Your challenge today is to find 2 prospects that you can write a letter to. See how it feels, and what response you may get. I suspect you will be pleasantly surprised.