I recently went to a networking event. There was a dynamic speaker who spoke about some interesting sales concepts. Anyways, he passed out a feedback form that captured everyone’s contact information (this is good) and he stayed after to talk with interested people and answer additional questions (another good thing), but what he failed to do is follow-up. I stood in line for 15-20 minutes to have a conversation with him and we chatted for about 5 minutes about his product, I gave him my card and requested more information and I never heard from him again. Really? I expressed interest and supplied him with my phone number and email.
Never make this mistake! … but if you do – fix it fast! A successful networker will always have a follow-up strategy. This does not mean that you spend equal time with everyone that you meet. You should qualify your contacts for future follow-up, but do not miss opportunities to connect with someone you meet during a networking event who asks for you to call! This is called a warm lead. Warm leads are interested leads. Interested leads turn into sales or job opportunities!
Another example….I put in a request to a local publication about advertising opportunities. I did receive a call back, over THREE weeks later. I spoke with “Joe” (not his real name) and we set up a time to talk. He missed the call. Yes, he did! Okay, things come up but he did not realize it for 4 days!! I was a warm lead. An interested lead. I requested information! Wouldn’t you like to have more leads knocking on your door? Sometimes I wonder how companies stay in business.
This is equally important during a job search. As you are networking, don’t forget to send a thank-you note for anyone who helps you along the way. I frequently help people in a job search by making introductions and it is extremely rare that I will receive a thank-you of any kind. It actually surprises me. Recently, I reviewed a resume, met this person for coffee to provide assistance, and made several introductions and not a peep.
At a recent student event, I had the opportunity to meet many new and engaging young men and women preparing to embark on their first career. I had several meaningful conversations and gave three of them my card to follow-up with me about an internship opportunity that they asked me about and not one of them took the time to follow-up.
I had a quite difference experience with a woman I met at a wine tasting event. There were several vendors marketing their products at this event and I met her while I was doing a little shopping in between tastings. Anyways, we had a conversation, she helped me to make a selection and that was all. The whole process took about five minutes. A week later, I received a very personal handwritten thank-you note in the mail. It referenced our conversation and was very sincere. This was for a $10 purchase! I still have that note and will definitely do business with her again.
So take a moment and think about anyone who you have met recently and make sure you follow-up. Make that call! Or send an email. And if you set up a time to meet or talk…..be there!! This is an easy and low-cost way to stand apart from everyone else. It works!
If you are looking for ways to supercharge your follow-up process, you may want to consider the Network PRo Toolkit! It contains several tools and resources you can use to set yourself apart from your competitors.
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