Consulting Conversations: The Power of Effective Follow-Ups

Whether you are working in sales or part of a project delivery team, working with others requires effective communication. But you already knew that. The journey from initial contact to closing a deal or deploying a project, however, often involves having to follow-up with prospects, clients, or project stakeholders, and while follow-ups may seem like routine gestures, they play a pivotal role in nurturing relationships, driving conversions, and ultimately, achieving success. Thus, how well you follow-up matters.

Whether you’re a sales professional, consultant, or in an Ops role that requires collaboration across teams and client engagement, mastering “the art” of effective follow-ups can make a significant difference between you moving along the timeline as planned or not. 

In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of effective follow-ups, offering valuable insights, expert tips, and practical exercises to empower you in your pursuit of sales excellence and functional project delivery efficiency.

Why is following-up effectively so important?

Effective follow-ups are like the glue that holds the entire plan and process together. They’re not about getting your way; they’re about ensuring progress, clarity, and, really, getting the answers you need. It helps to consider seeing them as the bridge between initial interaction and continuous, meaningful engagement. They demonstrate your commitment, professionalism, and genuine interest in addressing the needs of your prospects or clients.

In sales, it’s not always about closing deals; it’s about maintaining a steady flow of communication to keep relationships warm and prospects engaged. Similarly, in basic consultative or project management contexts, consistent follow-ups help you stay engaged and proactive, preventing important tasks or details from slipping through the cracks while also allowing you to showcase good customer service, making clients feel taken care of and valued. 

The Difference Between Following Up and “Effectively” Following Up

We try to keep our own follow-up strategy simple yet powerful: we prioritize planning ahead, keeping communication lines short and direct, facilitating efficient exchanges, and minimizing the risk of misunderstandings or missed opportunities. 

Whether it’s resolving project blockers by providing timely clarification, conducting client testing, or scheduling post-project check-ins, each follow-up serves a vital purpose in ensuring smooth progress and client satisfaction. Follow-ups also have the ability to open doors to potential upcoming projects, demonstrating a commitment to long-term partnerships and continued collaboration.

Planning Ahead

Whether it is standardizing a practice with your sales team or meticulously scheduling follow-ups between projected deliverables in order to keep driving engagement, it can be helpful to plan ahead. 

Usually, this entails establishing deadlines and creating a structured plan for follow-ups in case there’s no response before those deadlines. While many tend to be reactive in their follow-ups, it’s important to minimize the risk of forgetting deadlines yourself if you too, fail to follow up with them.

Both our sales team members and consultants have implemented the “Raising Hand Follow Up” method as an example, which can significantly enhance the likelihood of receiving prompt and efficient responses.

Hey managers, try this exercise with your team
based on different roles and scenarios!

Raising Hand Follow up (1,2,3,4,5 Rule)

How many days do you wait before your next follow-up?

Day 0: This is the original action expected date or the day your client or prospect was supposed to follow up with you by, whether it was getting you some login credentials, having documents signed, or approvals on their end.

Example: “I’ll have these logins for you by Monday”

(Day 0 = Monday)

Day 1: On the first day following a missed deadline, follow up with a quick summary of the original request or statement.

Example: “Last time we chatted, you mentioned we’d have logins by Monday, but I haven’t heard back. Are you having issues with finding the logins?”

(Day 1 = Tuesday)

Day 3: On day three, or three days after your last follow-up (if you have not yet heard back), send a light ping. With a typical five day work week, you can usually use the weekend as a reason you didn’t get a response here.

Example: “Hey, I know we’re coming up to the weekend. I’m wondering if you expect we’ll get the logins today or by next week? Let us know if there are any updates on or if you’re running into any issues.”

(Day 3 = Thursday)

Day 6 – Here’s where you’ll want to take a moment to do a quick temperature check and reassess the value of the task or response you’re waiting on. You might have thought everything was smooth sailing up to this point, but now’s the time to see if there are any unexpected hurdles or concerns. No need to panic just yet—just try to understand any potential issues. And if there are any, ensure you can jump right into action to address them.

Example: “Hey, should we still be expecting the logins? Is there an issue with getting the logins? How can we help?”

(Day 6 = the following Tuesday)

Day 10 – Introduce a “stripline”. In fishing, a “stripline” is that crucial link between the angler and the fish, similar to the lines of communication between you and your prospect or client. Similar to someone getting closer to the bite and having to put more tension on the line, at this point, if you have not yet received a response, you may need to exert more effort and precision to elicit the response you need.

Sometimes, firmer and more intense language than a previous temperature check is necessary, resembling the tug on the stripline of someone trying to hook the fish. In some instances, this can be the turning point that dictates whether you secure the connection or risk losing it, as the prospect or client may become disengaged if not properly attended to. 

Nonetheless, whether you hook their interest or they swim away, the stripline—much like a well-crafted follow-up—always prompts a response, driving the conversation forward towards a resolution or decision.

Example: “Hi, we are unable to move forward to the intended tasks until we receive the logins. Is this still a priority?”

Day 15 – Hard stripline. When you’re met with radio silence for two weeks, it’s tempting to assume they’re not interested and start mentally packing up your gear. But here’s the thing: sometimes, nudging them with a little assumptive language can stir things up. By hinting that they might not be moving forward, you’re giving them the chance to speak up if there’s any objection or concern. It’s all about prompting that conversation and making sure everyone’s on the same page before things start drifting apart.

Example: “Is it fair to assume you’ve given up on this?”

Follow-Up Dos and Don’ts


  • Expect to forget: Let’s face it, our brains have a lot on their plates. Things slip through the cracks, so don’t be surprised if you forget to follow up. 
  • Scheduled Reminders: To prevent the previous point, put task management tools to good use by setting reminders for your upcoming follow-ups. It’s like having a personal assistant keeping you on track.
  • Calendar Event: Keep it simple but effective. Booking dedicated time on your calendar for necessary follow-ups ensures you have the space and focus needed to get them done right.


  • Don’t spam them EVERYDAY: Honestly, there’s rarely a good reason to bombard someone with follow-up emails every single day for weeks on end. It’s annoying and counterproductive.
  • Don’t rely on sheer memory: Set up a system that works for you, and stick to it. Your future self will thank you.
  • Don’t get in your head: It’s easy to jump to conclusions when faced with radio silence. Resist the urge to overanalyze and instead focus on finding constructive ways to re-engage the conversation.

Language & Tone

Choosing the right language and tone is crucial for effective communication. It’s not just about conveying information; it’s about building relationships and rapport with your audience. By using language that is clear, relatable, and authentic, you humanize yourself and create a connection that goes beyond mere transactional communication. Moreover, overly complex language can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and ultimately, a loss of rapport. By keeping your language simple and approachable, you ensure that your message resonates with your audience and fosters a sense of trust and understanding. When folks are in a position where they find themselves inundated with a thousand messages vying for attention, choosing the right language allows you to stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression.

Personalization, strategic timing, value-driven communication, and a multi-channel approach can elevate how you follow-up and contribute to more efficient and effective communication. Remember, every follow-up interaction is an opportunity to nurture relationships, showcase expertise, and ultimately, drive meaningful outcomes for both your organization and your clients! 

Do you also value efficient and effective communication? Let us know!

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