- The three questions to ask before you network
- How to find places to network
- How to make time in your schedule to go networking
- What “To Do” When Networking
- What “Not To Do” When Networking
This topic, ohhh, this topic is one that I seriously could have used myself a few months ago (heck, a couple of years ago would have been even better).
Ideally, you’d do these things within 48 hours of the event. However, if it’s after that (even if it’s a week or two later) still go through these steps.
Do what you said you’d do
Did you tell someone you know someone who might need their services? Or maybe you mentioned someone that would be a good referral partner for them? Perhaps you were talking about something and you said you’d send them an article you just read on that topic. Or they might have expressed an interest in talking with you more and you said you’d call or email to set up a time to do that.
Make those phone calls or send those emails first. They’re expecting to hear from you!
Follow-up phone calls
This is where you setup those appointments with people that were interested or who are your ideal client. This is also where you setup appointments with other people that serve your ideal client.
Did you just go “Ugggg” or were you immediately turned off by something I wrote in the above sentence? I know I would have been a few months ago. Please stick it out and I encourage you to share your feelings and thoughts in the comments.
Let’s back up a moment though. You’ve been out networking, you met a lot of people and continued relationships with others, right? So, people know what you do. And if they need your product / service they’ll just call you – no need to do anything else?
In a perfect world, yes that’s exactly how things would work. However, people are busy and even if they know they would benefit greatly from your product/service, they might not find the time to call you to let you know. Or, they might be missing that one piece of information that pushes them from “I don’t need that” to “wow, I could really benefit from that”
This was extremely hard for me. I didn’t want to call people. Why? Well, yes there was some fear in bothering people or wondering if I came off as pushy.
But when you got right down to it – I had NO idea how to approach the conversation. And I like to have things I’m nervous about planned out. And the advice I was getting from people were things like “just pick up the phone and call” or “find out more about them, be curious.”
Both of those are great pieces of advice, and I do use them. But I also use something else: a script. Why? Because it means I don’t have to worry about “what am I going to say?!” I know what I’m going to say, or at least I have a rough draft of it.
I found a great reference for scripts last year. It gives five different scenarios and what a phone call to each might look like. Of course, modify the scripts to work for you. The article is called “Turn Your Business Around with Warm Calls and E-mails” and you can find it HERE.
Send emails to people that you saw again and chatted with, a “nice to see you again” type of email. You can also send emails to people that you met that didn’t fall into your “phone them” category, a “nice to meet you” type email.
And if you want, and you have their address, you can send them a card. That always makes a great impression and helps you stand out from others.
Sometimes, when you call someone, you’re going to get a voice mail or catch them at a bad time. Put a system in place that reminds you to call them again or send them an email.
Also, if you did chat with someone and made a good connection or just had a good conversation or enjoyed their company, make sure to call them again in a month or two to catch up with them. Find out if anything new is happening in their business or life.
And, as a friend of mine pointed out, sometimes when we get caught in the “strategic” actions to build our business and forget to just pick up the phone and call someone for no reason other than we were thinking about them. Two things about this: (1) anytime you talk or meet with someone be sincere, yes you want to build your business, but it’s also fun to meet new people and build relationships! (2) If you’re randomly thinking about someone, give them a call and see how they’re doing.
Last piece of advice: have fun with it and take the time to get to know the person behind the business. You’ll meet some really great people and learn some really cool things.
Which step or steps above do you currently do? Which one will you start doing? Share in the comments below!