Never Send A ‘Follow Up’ Email: If You Want Answers, Do This Instead

Sending and receiving a follow up email can be annoying. The sender wishes they did not have to write the email, and the recipient hates to get one. You are either frustrated because you have not gotten an answer or reminded that you have one more thing to do. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Pause before you send that follow up email. There are more impactful ways than saying, “I’m following up” or even worse, “I’m just following up” (the word “just” lessens the importance of your request and undermines your importance). Here are five ways to follow up without saying, “I’m following up:”

Avery Blank , CONTRIBUTOR
I help people advocate for themselves and leverage opportunities.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
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Make your communication personal
If you want answers, make it easy for the other person to communicate with you.

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Sending and receiving a follow up email can be annoying. The sender wishes they did not have to write the email, and the recipient hates to get one. You are either frustrated because you have not gotten an answer or reminded that you have one more thing to do. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Pause before you send that follow up email. There are more impactful ways than saying, “I’m following up” or even worse, “I’m just following up” (the word “just” lessens the importance of your request and undermines your importance). Here are five ways to follow up without saying, “I’m following up:”

1. Share an article or update.

Some people see follow up emails as “pushy.” Identify opportunities to stay top of mind without rubbing it in their face and being annoying or brash. For example, share a relevant and timely article that you came across. Or send them an update about a project that impacts their work. Staying top of mind can trigger the person to remember to respond to your inquiry.

2. Make your communication personal .

While you may want to follow up about a work related matter, what initiates your follow up does not have to be about work. People are particularly excited to talk about their personal interests and accomplishments. If you learn through the local paper that your colleague’s daughter recently graduated from college, congratulate them. If you heard they recently returned from vacation, ask about the trip. To reengage the person, first identify what excites them.

But do this only if you are genuine. Do not go fishing for something the person has done in their personal life, and don’t ask about something if you don’t care. Your indifference can come across clearly and make matters worse.

3. Flex your social media skills.

If you emailed the person, consider trying to engage them via a different mode of communication, including social media. Communicating via social media may be more convenient for the other person. If you want answers, make it easy for the other person to communicate with you.

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Source By https://www.forbes.com

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