Do you go to lots of networking meetings, meet lots of interesting people, rush back to the office to do some work, then out to the next meeting, never finding or making the time to follow up on all your new contacts?
Perhaps you don’t do it because
it’s dull compared to other things you have to do or
you are too busy and don’t see the value in it,
- you plan to get round to it sometime
or you think it is too pushy?
Whatever the reason, it is the second half of networking: without it the time, money and energy you have invested in meeting new people is not going to pay off.
Working with different types of people means I’ve come up with 4 strategies for making sure you follow up with your prospects and contacts. Which one appeals to you?
For creative types
Put all your creativity and energy into creating a great follow up email sequence that showcases your talent and gives heaps of value to your prospect that can be tweaked in an instant to each person you want to follow up with.
For people people
Your biggest mistake is going to too many meetings and not leaving enough time for the follow up. Or the follow up consists of going for coffee with lots of people because you want to be sociable and don’t like saying no. Then you end up with no time for following up your own business.
So, choose 2 or 3 people you’ve never met before but “clicked” with or like the sound of their business. Then either give them a ring or drop them an email telling them what you liked about them/their pitch/their website. Be choosy about who you travel to spend time with and who you talk over the phone with. Remember the value of your time.
For the organised ones
They already have their follow up process in place, their business cards carefully put away, a polite thank you and note taken of action you’ve agreed to take, dates in your diary to do it and report back on it, dates in your diary to contact them to see how it worked. Fulfilling all their promises. That’s what we should aspire to!
But remember to make the follow up personal and bear in mind the needs, wants and desires of the person you are following up with and not to put people on your mailing list unless they’ve specifically asked for this.
For the analysts
You may enjoy the detailed work following the meeting more than the meeting itself! You will be looking at the numbers: how many people were at the meeting, how many business cards did you collect, how many expressed an interest in what you did, how many new people, which meetings are worth continuing with, what the return on investment of membership to new business is. You will have a spreadsheet of hot, warm and cold leads that you update regularly.
Remember to take into account the other benefits of networking – support, learning, new ideas, potential partnerships etc. when making your calculations.
How do you follow up your network meetings?
If you want to know whether you are more Creative, a People person, organised or analytical, take the Talent Dynamics Profile Assessment here and see where your true talents lie.