How to Improve Your Follow Up Strategy - Part One
Networking is an important marketing tool for your business. Do you make the most of the opportunities you create by attending networking events? I have been running events for more than five years, and will admit that there have been times when I have not followed up as well as I should have.
I see so many people attend networking events, start conversations , ask for a business card and leave it at that. They get busy, distracted by the next priority on their to do list and before long they feel that the time has passed to follow up the connection, or they have even forgotten the conversation that they have had.
To increase your opportunities, leads and conversion for future business, try implementing these 7 tips:-
1. When you are scheduling the events you plan to attend each month , schedule time in your calendar to follow up on conversations you have with new connections within 24- 48 hours of the event. It is also a good idea to block out time each week to focus on existing relationships, either to meet up, send on an article of interest, or join in a conversation via LinkedIn.
2. You may have come away from the event with a stack of business cards, but that does not give you permission to add them to your mailing list . It is advisable to connect with them again and during that communication ask them if they would like to learn more either by a further conversation or receiving your news. (Remember you must have an unsubscribe on your email messages).
3. The purpose of follow up is to continue the conversation, as an event acts as the ice breaker. The follow up will help you clarify if you are able to help each other , not necessarily to become a client. Remember that the person you are talking to is a conjugate to many others and may be connected to the opportunity you are seeking.
4. Before you have the next conversation or meeting, make sure you invest some time in researching your connections background before the meeting. You can do this by checking out their LinkedIn profile, easy to do if you invite them to connect with you, their other social media platforms and read their website.
5. Decide on 3 to 5 good, open questions to get the conversation started and that you would like to explore when you meet up.
6. It takes time to build a relationship and even if you have met on other occasions there is always more to the person and their experience and knowledge than may be evident in early conversations.
7. In your CRM system ( or whatever you use) make sure you record key aspects of you have learned from the follow up so that when something triggers a memory of your interaction in the future (and this will happen) you can immediately qualify if re contacting or connecting this contact makes sense and adds value.
Following these steps will help make your networking more effective as you grow your connections and continue to build your business based on real relationships.
I would like to hear any other tips you may have and if you would like further help in building your networking strategy, please arrange a time to have a conversation with me, or come along to one of the YTM Business events soon to increase your connections and have deeper conversations.