Do you attend a lot of networking functions hoping to pick up business?
If so, here’s a simple, but critical question. What’s your time worth?
For argument’s sake let’s say you charge $100/hour. The average function lasts a couple of hours. Then there’s the time taken to get to and from it. So you at a minimum you’ve “spent” a couple of hundred. Many networking groups cost over $1,000 a year in fees plus the cost of meetings. It adds up!
But what’s the return?
For most, very little in terms of money generated especially if you take into account the cost of the functions themselves.
Networking is a great way to meet people and start the process of know, like and trust. But many people make two cardinal mistakes.
They turn up only once or sporadically at best. And second, they don’t follow up and consistently keep in touch.
Take BNI. They’ve created an incredibly successful networking environment because members are forced to turn up and contribute, leading to them getting known in the group and hopefully trusted to deliver.
But not all of us have that level of time available. So it’s essential you follow up and keep in touch in another way.
Met someone at a function? Send them a follow up note the next day. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Ask permission to send them interesting articles.
We practice what we preach.
If we meet at a networking function, two things will happen.
You’ll get a personal “Nice to meet you” email with links to interesting material. And you’ll go onto our newsletter list.
Over the years probably 90% of our business has come from networking. But almost never instantly. Often it’s weeks, months or even years later that someone I met becomes a client.
Remember, at any time less than 3% of your possible prospects are ready to buy right now. 7% are open to it and a further 30% are not actively thinking about it, yet!
Ergo, it’s critical you unobtrusively stay in touch with everybody you meet because you’ll never know when they’re ready to either move forward themselves or refer you on.
How? Our preferred method is through our newsletter. The one you’re reading now.
And no, you don’t have to write them all yourselves. We also curate material such as TED talks which have proven to be very popular.
Not everyone will read your stuff. But they still see your name and when the time is right are more likely to give you a call.
BTW, our record was 10 years on our list before someone had a need, called and became a client. Some have been on our list for 3 to 4 years. Others pretty instant.
You can’t control when a prospect is ready to buy. You can control how often your name appears in front of them.
So the bottom line is, if you’re investing time and money in networking, you owe it to yourself to get the best ROI by consistently keeping in touch with the people you meet.
Remember, you can always make another dollar. You can never get your time back. So make the most of it.
Want help putting together a keep in touch strategy? Give Rashid a call on 0414-913-334.