What is your strategy when you enter the room for a networking event, attend a conference, or participate in a vendor exhibit? If you don’t have a strategy, your effort will not be targeted toward a desired outcome – and that will impact your results.
The good news is that by the time you are finished reading this post, you will always have a strategy at hand so you can target not only your networking efforts, but also your follow-up activities to bring you the best long-term results possible!
When you know what you want your networking results to be, you are able to better manage your energy output because your efforts will streamlined to bring about a particular outcome. When you have no wasted effort, you will dramatically improve your results.
Your strategy for networking events and conferences should be to start with three. Make it a point to develop a connection with at least three people: one before, one during, and one after the event. Make note of your similarities, what you have in common, where you both had something in common and write it down on their card so you don’t forget.
After the event, send a personal follow-up email to them within 24 hours. Your strategy for the follow-up email is to set the stage for further interaction. In your email, mention some of the commonalities you shared as you look to deepen your connection, and then invite them to further connect by inviting them to another event with you, meeting for coffee, or asking if they would like an introduction to someone you might be able to refer to them who could use their services.
It is important to avoid the following pitfalls in follow-up that could end up damaging the connection you have made:
- Do not automatically add them to ANY groups, email lists, or newsletter distributions.
- Do not pitch your products to them in your follow-up.
- Do not blind-copy (BCC) someone you made a connection with in a generic group email.
Here’s an example of a sample email you could send:
It was so great to meet you yesterday! I truly appreciated you sharing your story with me about how you were able to discover your purpose and passion of helping others by creating amazing events for them. I would love to have lunch or coffee with you to learn more about you and your business.
I also have some speaker friends who are looking to put on an event together who could probably use your services. Would you mind if I gave them your information?
I have some time available next Thursday or Friday if you are open for coffee or lunch. I look forward to meeting again and catching up with a fellow Aggie-mom!
Soar 2 Success,
[Note: For tips and examples on how to make the most out of your signature block, click here!]
When at a vendor, you want to be sure you have a strategy in place that encourages people to give you their contact information with full disclosure that doing so gives you permission to follow up with them after the event. Once the event is over, you will also want to follow up with everyone whose name you have collected within 24-hours, utilizing the strategy you established for your event. [See our Event Tips blog post for more information]
Sadly, so many people fail to follow-up at all. This is a sure way to take the SLOW road to success. By having and implementing your follow-up strategy, you will get ahead further and faster than those who drop the ball.
It is important to remember that this strategy for follow-up is not a get-rich-quick system. It is a steady way of growing your connections with people who can affect your income stream in the future. Having a strategy in place for how and when you follow-up will get you the best results possible for your efforts, and keep you in better control of your own success!
As Featured in:
Authored by Elizabeth McCormick