Do you attend a lot of networking functions? Exchange cards. Pocket them and move on to the next person. Then wonder why no business transpires?
All business is ultimately done on the basis of relationships. Relationships which have to be nurtured and take time to grow.
However it staggers me how often people leave a function and never make any attempt to keep in touch and find out more about the people they’ve met.
Maybe they think the person isn’t in their target market – so unlikely to become a client. So why bother keeping in contact.
Which is quite frankly, an incredibly short sighted attitude.
One MC I know always asks, “Who’s come here to sell something?” Most people put up their hands.
When asked, “Who’s come here to buy”, almost no one does.
Says it all really.
If this is you, I recommend you change your way of thinking.
Every person you meet has a network of people they know. Some of these people could either be your potential clients or know people who are.
So instead of thinking, “This person obviously isn’t a prospect”, change to, “This person could be the gateway to my best clients, but that will only happen if I reach out, get to know them and develop a relationship of trust.”
Here are some concrete steps you can take to foster this.
The very next day send them a “Nice to meet you” email. If appropriate include an article or links to something they’ll find of interest.
In our case we send an article on “10 Strategies to Double Your Business”. A mortgage broker could send, “5 ways to get a better mortgage deal”. A Financial Planner, “Investment Secrets of the Millionaire Next Door”. You get the idea.
But don’t stop there.
Tell them you’ll give them a call in a week or so to catch up and find out more about them and how you could help each other.
When on the phone decide if a longer conversation or meeting is warranted. But don’t judge a book by its cover. Most people have hidden depth which only reveals itself once you take the trouble to get to know them better.
We try and go a step further and immediately think of people I could introduce them to. If they’re at the function, I’ll do it then and there. If not, I’ll call each party personally and then send an introduction email to both.
While we all want more business, don’t go in with a self-serving attitude. Put your focus on them. Who can you put them in touch with. Could there be any cross promotional opportunities?
And finally, regardless of what comes of the meeting, keep in touch at least once every 90 days. It could be via a newsletter, or a simple reach out, “How’re you going.”
You just never know when an opportunity will raise its head. If you’re not in contact, they’ll forget you (and vice versa).
Need help putting together a keep in touch strategy? Call us and we’ll design and implement one tailored for your business.