Okay, you’ve been to a conference or a networking event. You made great contacts and gathered a slew of business cards. Everyone seemed like-minded and jovial. Quite a few people you met seemed like they would be good for a joint venture or prospective client.
But what have you done about that stack of cards after you have gotten home and back to the daily grind? If you are like many people, the stack of cards languishes on a desk corner or in a draw until you think about it again or decide how they can benefit you. After a while, you forget who they are and the stack becomes just a bunch of meaningless cards.
In order to maximize your networking experience, there are 10 steps that you can take.
1) Establish the means of later contact
Lack of further contact strongly suggests indifference but no one wants to be a nuisance either. Ask whether a person prefers follow-up contact in the form of email, texting or phone calls.
2) Have patience
If the prospective client tells you to call in two weeks or next month, don’t call in the next two days instead. This will only make you a pest and will not be appreciated.
3) Drop your “business-buddy” a note
A thank you card or note to say how much you enjoyed the encounter goes a long way to stay in a person’s mind in a positive way.
4) Send out pertinent information
A great way to stay in a person’s thoughts is to sporadically send helpful or pertinent information regarding the field that the prospect is in or a solution to a pain that the prospect is struggling with. When interested in doing business, you will be uppermost in his/her mind.
5) Be timely
If you have promised to send information to the prospect at a given date, make sure that you do (or earlier which is always appreciated and duly noted). Being late shows a lack of respect as well as a lack of interest.
6) Send a follow-up letter
Just like you, your prospect has spoken to many people and collected a stack of cards. You will only be a face in the crowd by tomorrow. Sending a note with specifics as to the conversation you had or a joke (or story) you shared will go a long way to keep you remembered.
7) Fill a need
Do some research before your networking event and learn what the key pains are in the profession. Come up with at least one solution to address this problem and you will shine above all other attendees.
8) Leverage who you know
If you have contacts within the organization or company, have them “drop your name” with the prospects.
9) Make a date
Invite your prospect to lunch or a cup of coffee to “touch bases” and be thought of in a friendly manner. After all, more people do business with those that they like, know and trust.
Invite your prospect to a new similar event or conference to reinforce your business relationship with topics that your prospect is interested in or focused on.
11) Connect where they are
Find out if your prospect is active in social media. Are they on facebook, twitter or linkedIn. Contact them and “befriend” them or “follow” them on their sites.
Taking these steps will put those cards out to work for you and not just collect dust. The event will truly be empowering.
For further help, feel free to contact me at: