Archive for October, 2018

How to follow up with networking contacts

October 7, 2018

Follow-up is the key to making the most of the time, money and effort you invest in going to events. The people you meet at such events can mean extra profits to your business.

Often time, after an event you have a big stack of business cards. Looking at that pile, you think about following up with all of those contacts but are a bit overwhelmed?

Do not worry, your experience does not have to feel that way. In fact, reconnecting with your new contacts can be fun and meaningful.  Here are a few ways to keep those new connections close:

Business card CRM: if you do not have a CRM system, Excel spreadsheets and Sharpies work well.  Immediately after a conversation with a new contact, write the important details about them on their business card.  Since it probably already has their business title, include something that is more personal — like your conversation about a mutual sports team or your connection to their hometown.  That way, when you reconnect, you can keep the connection human. Not only is that more fun than leading with business talk, but it also helps the person remember who you are.  Keep track of each connection you make with your contacts.

Reconnect with cards or notes: although it may seems so last century, getting a handwritten letter is a nice, unexpected surprise.  It shows you thought enough of them to write a card or note, then address and mail it.  That is more effort than an electronic message to let someone know you are thinking about them.  That is why this personalized follow-up method will make you memorable.

Invite: generally, people hate to be sold, but they love to be invited, as long as the invitations are relevant and anticipated.  By offering an invitation to an event, you are providing value and opening the door to future conversations.  If you are the type of person who goes to events frequently, this strategy will require very little effort while providing great results.

Be a Matchmaker: connecting two people via email is a simple yet powerful strategy.  After all, it provides value to two people while simultaneously boosting your worth to both.  In other words, you are not just out to help yourself, you are creating opportunity for others.  But if you should need help in the future, each person may be more likely to help you.

Comment on Content: if you create content (videos, photos, blogs, tweets, books, thought pieces, etc.), you know that it feels great when people provide a thoughtful response to your work.  It is rare, and really means a lot.  That is why you should take the time to peruse the work of any meaningful new contacts.  Then, send them an email with some positive feedback.  For a guaranteed way to continue the conversation, make sure to end the note with a question.  Also consider posting a favorable comment about their work online.

We all like to be remembered so any touch can lead to something more. Be the one to follow-up.