Networking events are ideal forums for meeting professionals in a vast plethora of occupations. In order to leverage the relationships that you form in such events, it is critical to adopt the right follow up process. When follow-ups are done correctly, the benefits can be immense.
Make effective use of your time by slotting a date that you and your contact are free to engage in a conversation.This step is critical in ensuring the date or time chosen suits both your interests and does not interfere with their schedule.
In case your connection is unable to block off a set time, evaluate with him or her another date or time that would be most comfortable. Therefore, email them a reminder prior to the appointment. This will ensure that both of you are on the same page regarding your scheduled meeting.
During your conversation with a contact, subtly inform them of a particular product or service you offer without turning the conversation into a sales pitch.
By saying something like the following example;”This may or may not be of interest to you at the moment, but you may know of someone that could benefit from my/this product or service”.
This approach opens the window to a more relaxed conversation about what it is you do. It takes them out of the purchaser/consumer role and allows them to think about your information in an Informative Light v.s. HARD SALE RIGHT NOW!!!
Exercise conversational etiquette while conducting a follow up by being polite. Once again take notes, which is a sign that you value your contact’s time and are serious about the follow up.
Request a second follow up, upon which you can offer your contact a periodical newsletter regarding your product. (Even if you receive a NO in regards to your product/service still ask.) There are numerous ways in which a follow up can be conducted. Examples: Phone Call, E-mail, Skype, Google Hangout, Coffee, Lunch, Golf. Remember to always be flexible with the follow up!! Everyone works on a different schedule.
Over time, by mainlining consistent contact, you will build your professional relationships with valuable people, which will in turn generate into future clients, leads, and business partners.
I urge you to take these step into the networking arena and put them to use. Growing your network is a valuable thing, growing it the right way is priceless!
As always, Network in Style!
By: Talitha McGirt