How to Master the Art of Follow-Up

Post-Trade Mission Follow-Up
An effective follow-up procedure should be planned in advance before you attend a
trade mission. Follow-up should be frequent, consistent and should focus on building a
business relationship.

(Business Women in International Trade, The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service)

Best Practices for Follow-Up Success:

1. Make Time for Follow-Up

  • Don’t procrastinate! Set aside time in your schedule before the trade mission to organize your follow-up plan and put it into action when you return.

2. Organize your contacts

  • Intentionally organize your contacts in a way that will fit into your systems and align with your goals.
  • Ask the following questions to prioritize your contacts: Is this connection useful? How is this connection useful? Will they help you expand your network? Is this connection a possible sales lead?

3. Establish a follow-up procedure

  • Make an effort. Reach out to the connections you felt were the most valuable. Do research to figure out the best method to connect with your contact.
  • Be specific. Remind the person you are contacting about when you met and what the outcome of your conversation was. Try to use the same language from your initial conversation during the trade mission for your follow-up.
  • Ask for permission. Ask your contact when the best time is for you to contact them and how much of their time you can take. Ask if they require any further documentation for your follow-up, such as your capability statement.
  • Be persistent. Create a calendar system that will remind you to follow up with your contact and follow-up! Be sure to meet timeline expectations as promised.
  • Ask for a connection. If this isn’t the right contact for you, don’t be afraid to ask for the right person.

4. Set Goals

  • Be sure to set both short term and long term goals that you hope to achieve by working with your contact.
  • Review your goals. Have you met your goals or are there some goals you would like to reset for the future?