How many times have you had a great conversation with someone and then you leave without setting up a follow-up of some kind? You could just kick yourself because you know that you’ve missed a great opportunity.
New connections are MEANINGLESS if you don’t follow-up.
So, how can you as an entrepreneur stand out from a crowd and take new connections to a more meaningful level?
First, when you go to networking events it’s important to go with the mindset of meeting and learning about interesting new people. You do this by asking questions and really delving into someone’s business and personal life to find out how you might be of service to them. That doesn’t mean you overstep the bounds of good manners, but show genuine interest in them as people.
After you have a great conversation, do you make notes about what you talked about? How many times have you gotten home with business cards, and because you’ve talked with so many people, you can’t place the face of the person to the card. If you immediately jot some part of their story on the back of their card, this will help you to remember them.
Another thing you can do during your initial conversation is to offer something of value and ask, “Hey, do you mind if I make a note of that. I want to make sure I send you this info because I think it’s a great resource for your business.” Of course, they’re going to say yes and give you their phone number and email address. Now you have a natural way to follow-up and stand out from the crowd.
If you promise to give something of value you must keep that promise. That will help you start establishing trust with that individual. When you do contact them again, remind them at what event you met and what you spoke about. They’re not going to remember you if you don’t. This is key to giving them a point of reference so that they can reconnect with that original conversation and then move forward. People like to have their words remembered, so quote something that they said. This will make your follow-up with them very warm and personal.
Don’t let too much time go by. If you wait two weeks you’ll probably miss your window of opportunity. Not only have you lost your momentum, but also the chance of them remembering you is not as likely.
Entrepreneurs can use a variety of ways to reconnect. Nowadays many use social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to keep the relationship going. The added benefit is as you follow them, you’ll find more information about them that you can relate to and keep the conversation going.
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