After attending a networking event, how many of you go home and out the cards you collected in a box?
How many of you add the details to a database?
How many of you actively follow-up in some way?
Filing the card away until you need it is an option, but not a very proactive option. There might not be an immediate connection or an immediate opportunity to work together, which is all the more reason to maintain contact and to keep yourself in the forefront of your contact’s mind. Networking is often about playing the long game.
By adding the contact to your database or address book, you will remember to automatically include the contact in future email, letter or telephone based campaigns. Remember to note on your database where you met them. This will help you analyse all your sources of leads and which ones generate the most revenue, helping you to be cost effective.
The best option is to follow-up by email or phone within a day or two of the event or meeting.
Due to networking, Pinpoint’s database has grown by around 90% in a year. This has increased the audience numbers I can market to expose my message. More exposure equals more opportunities for business equals profit and growth.
Will following up be seen as pushy? No. Attendees of networking events are there for the same reason as you. They want to meet like-minded business people and to find new customers.
When you do make contact, always give the option to unsubscribe to ensure you comply with data protection and SPAM laws and to be polite.
By following up you have instantly reminded them of meeting you, you have appeared organised, polite and professional and you will have got their permission to keep their details and liaise with them in the future to hopefully turn them into a lead and then eventually a customer! This could be the start of a profitable relationship.
A sin of networking is to promise to follow-up with information or a lead/referral and then not doing this. Don’t use the scatter gun approach with your cards. Don’t give your card out to people and then run. Spend some time with them. Neither of these things looks good and could be potentially harmful to your reputation.
Happy networking …