I picked up the telephone.
Do you know anyone who can help me with a little job I need done?
It was Karen, a friend who helps out with email marketing, a good egg and we enjoy working together.
I know that most of you who know me understand that I’ll help Karen, of course I will. After all, Karen is a good friend, runs a great telephony biz which in turn has been great for me – so I’m going to help her and I’m pleased she has asked me.
Anyway, we’ve all been there, if I can’t help, I’ve some great contacts who can. Right?
The ‘job’ entailed an internal relocation of one of her offices so there was the usual wiring and all sorts of stuff that needed an expert to attend to. An ideal job for ‘Bob.’
‘I’ll get right on it, no problem’ came the reply from Bob. ‘Leave it with me … and thank you for the referral.’
It felt good to have been able to help an old friend and at the same time pass a decent referral. We like to help others don’t we? Anyway, I promptly called Karen to assure her that ‘Bob’ would be in touch and passed his details at the same time, just in case.
A week goes by, ten days and Karen and I meet up for ‘other business’ when I happen to ask:
“How is Bob getting on with the office relocation?”
‘Bob who?’ came the reply. My heart sank.
Oh, that Bob, I’m sorry but I didn’t hear from your guy and after a week it had become urgent – so I had to find someone else – hope Bob is alright?
Now there is no need me explaining that we’d been let down, it seems Karen hadn’t even had a call from ‘Bob the expert’ and I suppose she should have called to chase him up, I should have chased him up to remind him etc, etc. But should we? Really??
But hey, is Bob alright? He could be ill, or had an accident – or worse. Lets just see how right he is I thought to myself as I made a mental note …
It turns out that Bob is fine, just been ‘up to his eyeballs, that’s all’ – so busy being busy he explained and assured me he had every intention of follow up ‘that little job’ once he had the time.
‘No matter Bob.’ I explained that Karen had ‘sorted the office out’ and were now pressing ahead with ‘acquiring’ the adjacent office floor … after their incumbent electrician had given it the once over of course.
‘You just never know where the referral may lead you, do you Bob?’
Failure to follow up, to do as you say – no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time – can not only cost you the business, it can profoundly impact the relationships and dent the hard won credibility – and who needs that in today’s business climate?