by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Some wellness managers are notorious for letting potential participants slip through the cracks. Why? Because it can be more fun to create nifty promotions than to perform the more mundane tasks of reaching out to people who expressed interest but never registered or going back to former participants. That’s a mistake.

More often than not, someone who didn’t follow through got distracted, or the service you offered wasn’t quite what they were interested in at the moment. But with diligence, you probably could have pulled them in, or learned what you needed to change to get them involved. 

How long should you continue to follow up? Until it stops being productive. 

If a smoker expresses an interest in smoking cessation services, but doesn’t keep a commitment to attend an orientation, how much time, effort, and money will you spend to try to get another commitment? If you believe the industry estimates — that smokers cost organizations many thousands of dollars a year more than nonsmokers — your time would be well spent pursuing them until you get a response.

Don’t take rejection personally. A missed counseling appointment, class no-shows, or fitness center dropouts are seldom outright dismissals of your service. New jobs or personal demands can pull people away temporarily. Whether it becomes a permanent departure can depend on how willing you are to keep coming back with an offer to support healthy behaviors. 

Take some time today to create a follow-up strategy for both groups: those who expressed an interest but didn’t follow through and former participants who dropped out without explanation.

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