How do people that don’t follow up stay in business? Have you ever wondered why someone that you’re doing business with can wait so long to return a phone call, an email, thank you for a referral (or not thank you at all – whoops!). Easy to do AND easy not to do – but it makes all the difference. Sometimes it contributes so much to your relationship that it’s more important than your capability. So where does the integrity thing come in?
Integrity is not just "being honest," although that has something to do with it. According to Roger Merrill, co-author of many good books about character and quality of life with Dr. Stephen Covey, "Integrity is acting in accordance with your deepest values without compromise." This means keeping promises to ourselves as well as others. We all have a "personal integrity account," Merill says. We constantly make deposits or withdrawals. Whether our account is in the red or black affects our stress, confidence, creativity and ability to relate meaningfully to others.
In everyday life this means you have to do what you say you’re going to do. How many times have we heard that? I’m pretty sure I heard it from my father most of all. Calling back is a deposit – it’s an easy one. So is saying thank you. So is replying to an email in a timely fashion – even if it’s a short note that says you need to think on the matter and will reply later in more detail. Don’t wait a week to reply at all! And, never, never, never, skip hitting reply. People need to know you got the message. Even if you just say, "Got this!" – it’s a deposit, and we all need them.