It’s no secret that I am not a fan of clichés (sales or otherwise) and “keep me in the loop” is a BIG cliché that is overused. This cliché makes me think because there is an interesting subtext to it. To me it’s a nice way of saying “would you please take a minute and let me know what’s going on?” I for one hate being left out. Essentially what I think people are truly looking for is not to be left in the dark when they are involved in something that is meaningful to them or critical to their success. An accountant trying to get information from a client so he can finish their return or a database programmer who needs information from a colleague to finish her work are two examples that come to mind of when people need to be “in the loop” on someone’s progress or an update on where they stand. In other words” please don’t leave me hanging here…tell me “yes” or “no”, hell anything would be better than silence. Just communicate with me.
“Keep me in the loop” means please respect my time, please keep me informed and in return you get the most from me.
On recent example of mine is one that will ring true with everyone. I was introduced via email to a high ranking executive at a company that I wanted to establish a relationship with. After the email was sent making the mutual introduction, he responded immediately and we agreed to schedule a call. Awesome right? Then…nothing. Crickets. Radio Silence. All attempts to reconnect were met with more silence. Look, I know people are busy and I always assume positive intent, but it was frustrating!
So here is the email I wrote:
You may recall that we were connected via email a few weeks back and you were kind enough to respond and suggest that I be in touch to set up a call. I just wanted to follow up and let you know I have tried to reach you a few times to schedule the call as you kindly suggested. I am sure it is just that we are all so busy! I get it, hence my direct note to you.
I know you are barraged by people looking to connect all the time – I am as well. In short my message about building a sales culture has resonated very well in a number of verticals like yours and numerous others I am in active conversations with. It is not sales training – it is about how we all sell every day, how everyone impacts the customer and the more we build a sales culture the bigger the deals are. The more we recognize that fact the better the company and the people of the company will be. That’s my belief and I that is what my keynotes and workshops are based on.
Yes I admit that I am trying to have a conversation that longer term just might end up with me selling you something! We all have something to sell and I won’t apologize and neither should anyone else. Every day you are faced with how to sell your projects, goals and needs to your organization.
If we can schedule something in the coming weeks that would be great. Either way, I wish you the very best in success.
The result? An email back to me within 5 minutes and a phone call to set the meeting. No apology needed just a response! The moral of the story:
- Don’t apologize for selling – get in the game and put it out there
- Be direct, respectful and humble – you have a right to follow through and speak up when you are unable to
- Be ready to “fire a prospect” and walk away if need be – your time is as valuable as anyone’s
- ASK to be (ahem) “kept in the loop” – or just to talk to me and let me know what’s up! Talk to me. Please, I hate the dark. Just give me a nightlight
- Assume positive intent. We are all over connected and balancing to much, so be patient and be direct
I hope you enjoyed this story and will apply it – both as someone who is in control of communicating or someone who needs to hear from you. Be kind, and always carry your flashlight!