As a company that specialises in helping business build profitable business partnerships, it always fascinates me how much time and effort people invest into networking and then do nothing with or worse still the completely wrong thing after meeting so many wonderful people.
Are you the kind of person that networks and over weeks and months you collect 100’s of business cards and you don’t know what to do with them?
or Are you the kind of person that proactively emails/calls the people you met?
Don’t worry I train this stuff and yet I still have boxes of cards, because I never attempt to contact everyone. The important point is to contact someone in the right way. So what kind of right is that right? In my opinion and this is jut my opinion I believe that follow-up interaction should be more of what should be happening when face to face. More getting to know, sharing hints and tips that will help them giving rather than taking in other words.
What is happening now for you in your business?
Do you then send an email telling them all about you or do you send an email asking more about them?
I received this email a day after attending an event last week. This person most likely obtained my email from a contact sheet that was shared at the end.
Good Afternoon Sheryl,
In true networking style, ( I love that bit it is almost like they know they are being annoying), following the ********* at Business South, I’m now sending you this introduction to ************- we offer it went on for several paragraphs all about them.
This person had not even spoken to me, I had no idea who they were and the whole email shouted look at what we do?? I have deleted the names because this is not a case of name and shame this company because these people are potential clients and I really do feel for them when they put all that effort into something and probably get very little or no response, like so many they are either keen to or more likely desperate to make networking pay.
I truly admire their proactive approach and that is great however imagine what happens next if this were the email.
Good Afternoon Sheryl I noticed you were at the VIP event but regretfully we were unable to connect, so I thought I would take this opportunity to catch up. Did you enjoy the Business South Exhibition? We really loved the food and wine game what were you? We would love to know more about what you do and how we may be able to help you in the future feel free to drop us a line about your business.
Which do you think I am more likely to interact with? Which will create the human connection resulting in feelings of getting to know, like and trust, which ultimately can result in them buying or referring.
I also received some automatic letters from the stands you know the kind that makes your heart sink because you realise that your attempt to win an iPad or free hotel is now going to result in a bombardment of emails and phone calls. The whole point of collecting emails is to increase your database, so why send an email that is going to immediately result in unsubscribe unless by fluke that person is just happened to need that service immediately rather than being warmed up slowly. Surely the idea of the mailing list is so they get to know like and trust you.
What needs to happen for your follow-up to be personal and ask questions, be interested and not sell?
If you are still struggling with working out the right questions, how to stay calm and listen for longer before trying to sell your services then please join us this month for The Listening Post– monthly training programme that ensures you are networking at your best to build profitable partnerships.
Thank you for listening