Tag “planning”

Nine steps to writing a good follow-up email ★

Most people spend hours writing follow-up emails after meetings with their clients. They keep looking for the right words that will work. However, follow-up emails aren’t about the right words and metaphors. Speed and accuracy is all they require.

A follow-up email is easy to turn into a template and reduce the time of writing one to 20−30 minutes maximum. The meeting itself is where all the magic happens. Here’s a ready-to-go plan to nail follow-up emails, follow it and you’ll be able to build trust with your clients way faster than before:

  1. Read up and prepare questions. The best meeting is the one you’ve planned in advance.
  2. Show up on time, don’t make your client wait for you.
  3. Remind participants why you’re having this meeting and draw a short plan of what’s going to happen next.
  4. Ask questions, shut up and listen to the answers—that's the most important part. Your client has all the necessary information you need to solve your problem.
  5. Ask additional questions to clarify anything you didn’t get or have doubts about. Don’t be timid, it won’t help you to do a good project.
  6. Make notes during the meeting. Write down only core ideas and thoughts. It shouldn’t be a word-by-word transcript.
  7. Edit notes and turn them into a list of agreements, certain steps, and tasks with deadlines.
  8. Send the list of agreements and the following steps to your client within one hour span after the meeting. Ask them if you got it right and offer to make suggestions to your notes if not.
  9. I added this point to make the total number odd.

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and Telegram channel to receive new posts about writing, management, and leadership on this blog.

The most important step in your life ★

We tend to plan everything, foresee all possible options, calculate all risks, to think about ways to retreat in advance. Most often in vain. This strategy is ineffective, 'cause most of our fears never come true. But there will always be something we couldn’t anticipate.

Our brain constantly wants certainty, otherwise, it begins to think we are in danger. But visualizing the future in detail is too costly for the brain. And when our expectations don’t match reality, it’s also painful for the psyche. Instead of trying to predict our future, we should focus on the next step. It’s a gentler approach, with no pressure and stress.

The most important step in your life is the next step. Not the one from five years ago, not the one you’ll take a year from now. Just the next step of yours.

If you have a big goal or task in front of you and you have no idea where to start, or how to approach it, try not to think of it as a big goal. Instead, think of what your next step might be and take it. This little trick will help you overcome the numbness and begin to act.

Make a plan

Having a plan helps our mind avoid panicking and makes it easy to star acting. Stop wasting your time, make a plan. It’s the first step on the way to your goal.