What you need to know about following up on networking events
Congratulations on attending a networking event, often the first part is the most difficult as you have set the time aside to attend, turned up, smiled and presented yourself and your business in the most professional way you can. That’s the good news, however it is only the first part of the process, the part I refer to as the ‘net’ and it is now time to add the work!
“All the time and effort put into networking can be all for naught if there is no follow-through. The same goes for sales. And leadership. And …everything.” Beth Ramsay
You left with a pocket full of business cards that have no value if you don’t actually use them. You now need an action plan, so it is important to identify your objectives and what you want to achieve:
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin
I have found that typically most people you meet in such settings can be categorized as follows:
1. Potentially beneficial
2. Potentially of no use
I appreciate it is a very crude way of looking at relationships, especially ones that you have only just formed (and in some instances after only a few minutes) however it is important to prioritize your time and efforts into pursuing those relationships that are ‘likely’ to prove more fruitful. You will notice here that the two words I use here are ‘potentially’ and ‘likely’ as it is important that you understand that sometimes the best relationships and business opportunities can be found in the most unlikely places. Never discount anything and try where you can to pursue every possible opportunity, the critical element here is to initially prioritize.
As the saying goes, “It’s now what you know but who you know.” For most business people this couldn’t be truer as building relationships plays an essential role in the success of your business / career. These relationships can lead to important introductions to investors, clients, partners, suppliers, advisors and even new recruits.
But it isn’t easy as relationships need trust and rapport, which requires consistent contact over time.
According to the New York Times, 65% of new business comes from referrals.
A Nielsen Study cited clients are four times more likely to buy when being referred from someone they know and trust.
For those looking to nurture and build valued connections, we have created a Simple 7 Step Plan.
Details about the author:
Michael Goldman is Managing Director of Invest in Digital LTD, a full service Digital Marketing Agency based in Manchester.