You realise that networking is the key to growing your business and make sure that you are in the right places at the right times, meeting the right people. You are a member of an active network where you regularly get introduced to people and referrals are plenty. But something is not going right. You feel like you are not making the most of your opportunities. What might be the problem?
A possible culprit is your Follow Up, or maybe it’s absence. Unless you are as efficient with following up as you are with networking, you will not be able to convert all your leads and your efforts will not be as fruitful as they could be.
So here are 5 strategies to power up your follow up game!
Meeting someone once is only the first step. Take responsibility for initiating the next contact. What is the point of all the business cards you collect if you don’t take the conversation ahead?
It is best to send a brief email in the subsequent couple of days to maintain interest and ensure engagement. It is also advisable to keep the person who might have introduced or referred you in the loop about any progress. This will help keep keep you foremost in their mind for future referrals
Rekindle their interest
Make sure your follow up email references where and how you met. It is best to include a few lines on some point of mutual interest that had cropped up in your conversation. Also indicate your wish to continue the conversation. It helps to put forth a few options of possible times you could meet up again, but don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t work out as quickly as you might have hoped. Also avoid long winded emails. Make sure your email is to the point and as short as possible.
Reach out on social media
Linking up on LinkedIn is a great way to continue the process. You could also use Twitter as another medium to connect, but make sure you don’t overdo it.
Remember to offer value
Networking is not just about what you gain immediately. You are building relationships. And the best way to do so is to offer something of interest or value to the other person. It will show them that you are interested enough to know what they might find relevant and mark you apart from the herd.
Reaffirm a clear objective
As far as possible, clearly mention what you would like to happen. For ex, you might want to set up a face to face meeting or suggest someone else they should meet or maybe just like them to share some information. Or it could be wanting to set a time for a short call which can set a personal tone to the relationship. Having a clear agenda is a big plus.
Have you used any of these to follow up with your networking contacts? What was your experience?