Five tips to take you to the top 20% of successful networkers who follow up! (It is definitely lonely at the top!) Part 1.
Decide on a system to keep your contacts all in one place. It used to be a spreadsheet but there so are many online CRMs such as mailChimp which I use and is free, if you send less than 2,000 emails a month.
You will need to decide on the number events you want to attend, if you are going to start following up on them, as this is can be quite time consuming. I would suggest no more than two events a week. If you meet 6 people, it could take up to an hour to craft and send out a personalised email. This time will shorten, as you become a pro at follow up emails after a networking event.
Remember that when you go to networking events, giving your card is not a priority, as we now know that very few people follow up anyway. Getting cards is a must though, and do try to find out more about the person so when you go to Tip 5 below, you have something specific to write about.
In this era of Social Media, be sure to get their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook accounts. I know a lady, who takes her tablet with her and adds people on to her social media pages on the spot, a great time saver!
The email to send after an event? I have scoured my sent emails and here are a few samples, you can adapt:
“Trust you are well. Have you decided how you want to grow the business?
We met at a networking event at xxxx – The xxxxx on 30th January. At the event you shared your vision for your business and was not sure about what direction to take now.
As promised here is the xxxxx that I have recently developed as part of my coaching tools. You can use it to help you flesh out your ideas and vision for your business. It can be filled in on your PC so there is no need to print it out. I hope you find it useful, do let me know how you get on with it”
“It was nice meeting you last night. Thanks for keeping us topped up with drinks and ensuring the food area did not become chaotic.
I am just touching base with you to find out more about what you do as we did not have much time to talk last night. I am a business coach and work mainly with women. My new website is just being developed but I would love to know more about your events in xxxx”
“It was nice to meet you on Saturday at xxx’s event. Hope you had as much fun as I did, it was great meeting so many phenomenal women from such diverse backgrounds.
I am writing to touch base with you and find out more about what you do and if there is any way I can be useful to you and your magazine. I am an accountant, business coach and I also write.
I would also be grateful if you could send me the contact details of the lovely ‘xxxxx’ lady who had a stall next to you, as I seem to have misplaced her details.
Do take care and be sure to add me to your mailing list”