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Building Partnerships
Engaging the Business Community, Step 7: Following Up

Related Materials

Document Type Business Basics
A step-by-step guide to building and sustaining business relationships, with examples of previous business partnerships and their benefits for CKF.
File size: 3.1MB

Document Type Confirmation of Participation Letter
Use this template letter to confirm your business partners' commitment to your campaign.
File size: 26.1KB

Document Type Overview Memorandum
Provides an overview of the children’s health care coverage environment and how a business partner can participate in outreach and enrollment efforts. Customize this document with state-specific information.
File size: 35.8KB

Document Type Corporate Outreach Proposal
A sample proposal designed to help guide you in your outreach to local businesses and corporations.
File size: 40.4KB

Document Type Thank You Letter to a Business
Sending a thank you letter is easy -- and imperative.
File size: 26.1KB

Document Type Certificate of Appreciation
Send this certificate to the businesses that helped you with your outreach efforts.
File size: 6.0MB

Document Type Letter of Agreement
Use this letter to confirm a business' participation in your outreach efforts.
File size: 30.7KB

Updated: 6.1.06      Printable Printable version

To successfully engage companies in outreach efforts, you will need to follow up. It is important to follow up with your contacts after each interaction. Do not wait for them to initiate the follow-up. Keeping in touch with your contacts and moving the relationship process forward is your responsibility.

Follow-Up Tips

Send a thank you. If you talk to a business contact by phone or meet in person, be sure to send a formal thank you letter along with follow-up materials, if applicable. Other thank you tips include:

  • Send a thank you letter as soon as possible (within two days). The letter can be short. A brief paragraph is appropriate. If the follow-up information will take longer than two days to prepare, send the thank you letter separately and indicate in the letter that additional information will be arriving soon.
  • If you attend a meeting with multiple participants, send a thank you letter with the follow-up materials to your primary contact and short thank you letters to the other meeting attendees.
  • Once a business relationship has been established, handwritten thank you notes or e-mails are acceptable.

Customize follow-up materials. Use the information that you gathered from your business conversation or meeting to customize follow-up materials. For example, if a company contact expresses an interest in a particular type of outreach activity, be sure to mention the activity in your follow-up materials.

Confirm receipt of correspondence and materials. This is a professional courtesy. You can leave a voice-mail message, send an e-mail, or speak with your contact's assistant to confirm their receipt of items you have sent.

Provide a proposal if requested. Some companies may ask for a written proposal. Be sure to ask if the company has guidelines for proposals. Always keep the document concise (one to three pages). Download a template Proposal.

Establish a rapport with your business contact's assistant or secretary. Assistants are often gatekeepers for business leaders. Be sure to learn the name of your business contact's assistant and be cordial when you call. An assistant can help keep your program on the boss' radar screen.

When a Company Says "Yes"

Confirming a business commitment in writing will provide you with an important reference document.

Confirmation of participation letter. A confirmation of participation letter can be used for simple outreach efforts (e.g., a company agrees to place an article about your state's program in its employee newsletter). The letter should thank the company for agreeing to participate in outreach efforts and indicate what the company has agreed to do and when the activity will take place. Download a sample confirmation of participation letter.

Letter of agreement. For business outreach activities that involve more detail, a letter of agreement is a useful tool. A letter of agreement will help ensure that the agreed-upon activities are properly implemented. The letter should outline each party's commitment, clarify responsibilities and provide a timeline with applicable deadlines. Download a sample letter of agreement.

When a Company Says "No"

Remember that it is not about you. A company is saying "no" to your program/project/event--not to you as a person. Most companies have a form letter they send to decline involvement in community events or activities. If you receive a response in person or by phone, you may still receive a form letter. The letter is the official company response to your request.

Keep your contact information. If a company that you would like to work with declines to participate, keep your contact's information on file. There may be an opportunity to approach them in the future. You should consider sending your contact a summary of highlights and results from your outreach activities to pique their interest for the future.

Look for opportunities to turn a "no" into a "yes." The key to a "no" follow-up conversation is to indicate that you have heard the initial "no" and thank your contact for considering your request before exploring other opportunities to work together. Once you acknowledge their answer and thank them for considering your request, you can decide whether or not to gently let the contact know that you would be interested in exploring opportunities to work together at another time, thereby presenting a new chance for company involvement.

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