So you hosted or attended one or more events where your networking skills were put to use, but how many of those connections you made were successful in the aftermath?
Proper networking goes beyond having a good conversation and involves making a plan to keep those other attendees who may be potential sources for referrals, future clients and prospects, or partnering on future endeavors. You want to keep your pool as large as possible and not lose out on the opportunity to build ties with someone who can help you achieve your business goals that much faster. Treat it like a dating game. What that means is, you take out time to engage anyone who may belong in your follow-up pool with targeted communication strategies.
Giving away your business card is one approach that may or may not be effective, because it relies on the other person making the first move to contact you and sadly most of the time they do not. And that’s hardly ever a reflection on you or how things could have gone. Your business card likely ended up in a pile of others and was soon forgotten or thrown out; all for lack of time on their part to follow up on all the business cards they received.
Take a look at 3 of our surefire strategies that will help you guarantee follow-up after networking to retain and engage your target persons.
1. TAKE THEIR BUSINESS CARDS WITH YOU
Yes, you were able to hand out a lot of your business cards at a particular networking event. Well, the bad news is several other people did the same. The only thing that can put you ahead of them is to collect the other person’s business card. It is way more important and a more certain way of continuing communication after the initial conversation.
With their business card in hand, you will have the necessary contact information to do the follow-up from your end. By just giving them your own business card, you’d be taking the risk of that person not using the details on there to contact you. Collecting their own business cards gives you more control and ensures follow-up, especially if you ask them how they will prefer to be contacted.
Streamlining communication by using their preferred contact methods will increase the chances of building a long-term relationship that is mutually beneficial. Ask and make a note of the email address or phone number that they are most responsive to, and whether they’d like you to reach them by text message or a phone call, or even simply knowing which one of their social media accounts between Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook is most active or used for business engagements. Do this and you’d be thanking yourself for taking the initiative when the leads are successful.
2. CONNECT WITH THEM ON SOCIAL MEDIA RIGH THEN AND THERE
How much of a role does social media play in your current marketing strategy? Having a social media presence is so important these days, and becomes even more so when you are trying to network effectively.
Using this strategy of connecting with your potential clients or benefactors on social media will help you stay top of mind easily. Most people stay connected on their accounts all day, or at least for significant periods of time every day and so this is a great opportunity to be in their faces and create an impression that sticks. But in order to stand on people’s social media feeds, your business must be well-branded and offer some kind of value… because there’s so much out there and so little time, right? People will only spend time on what they think can be beneficial to them in some way
So, engage your target persons on the social media platforms they use the most and show them how you can add value to their lives. Share with them what you have achieved so far and why they should bring their business to you and trust you. With Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, once you are both connected you can see what the other person is posting and vice-versa.
Your posts can increase their interest a lot more and speed up the talks on how you can get started working together. You’d get quicker responses and comments (feedback) that would not otherwise be obtained and it will help you run your business more efficiently. Also, even if a particular lead does not work out immediately, through social media engagement, both parties could have access to many opportunities shared by the other in the long-run.
3. MAKE DEFINITE PLANS FOR A MEETING ON THE SPOT
Take it to the next level by issuing an invitation to the next in-person meeting. It could be a conversation over lunch, coffee or an invite to another event that they may be interested in attending. The simplest way to skip all the back and forth emailing and going through other people is to pull out your calendars or planners, and set up a meeting that works for both of you.
Ensure you both pencil in the specifics, i.e. the meeting date and time, so know exactly when you’d be continuing the conversation later. If you feel it’s appropriate or the other person had a busier schedule that took a bit of time to get you in, send a reminder or targeted thank you note to remind them it was a pleasure meeting the first time and because a personal touch is always more meaningful. More frequent contact and communication will help enhance the ties between you and the person you’re following up with.
If you want to learn more on how to become a Master Networker, then you need to sign up for our free Networking Masterclass by clicking the link below!
On that page, Psychology Hacker CEO, Adam Lyons, breaks down some key tactics that you need to be a successful networker. Not only that, there are six more masterclasses that are designed to help you start achieving more success in your business and life in general. So, if you’re interested check them out by clicking the link below!