I have a massive sequence of reminders built into my life. This is for one simple reason: I don’t trust myself to remember everything that I need to do. I don’t even trust a task list; instead, it’s all on my calendar.
Most business partnerships I’ve developed have happened (in part) because of follow-up reminders. (Of course, this is after the partnership has been built on good will, honesty, and working towards a goal that benefits all involved.) It’s the reminders, though, that prompted the work to happen. I see the reminder and I immediately check on the status of the partnership. This principle is also true for project management in general.
People forget about you. But it’s not because they dislike you or find you uninteresting. It’s because they’re busy just like you. For this reason alone (and many others), follow-up with people. Remind them that you’re still interested. Remind them that you care. Remind them that you want to help them. And if your partnership with them really is for the benefit of all involved, they will likely respond.
I wish there was more to say about this, but there isn’t. The principle is that simple: It’s all about the follow-up. (The only other thing I would add is “pick up the phone.” Email only works to an extent.)
What method do you use to remind yourself to follow-up with people?