Today’s networking tip is short and simple; Think Ink
When you’re leaving your car or office to head to a networking event you always make sure you have business cards (right?!) well, I also want you to make sure you have a pen. May sounds simple, but let me tell you why you want to “Think Ink” before heading to that event.
- Someone is always looking for a pen. Be the one to “come to the rescue”… even better if you can hand them a pen with your name on it 😉
- Write on the back of your business cards when you hand them to people; put a little reminder of why they need to follow up with you
- Write on the back of their business cards (later, when you go back to your car); write a note so you specifically remember them
- Red hair
- Kid plays soccer
- Heading on vacation soon
- Wants to know more about specific product
- I also always make a little note of WHERE I met them… for reference later if needed
So, next time you’re heading out the door…Think Ink
Following up after a networking event or meeting sounds pretty common sense, right? It sure does, but I guarantee you that the most networked people out there will admit they don’t always do it. I myself have looked at a pile of cards on my desk and thought “hmmmm where did I meet those people” or “wow, that event was last month already”. Follow up should happen by the end of the week of the event (yes, if it was on a Thursday you only have 1 day to follow up)
So here are 3 tips to make sure you actually do the follow up work:
- Schedule time to follow up; I mean actually schedule it. Block out an hour after your event, or an hour the next day to make follow up appointments and calls. Put it in your schedule and treat this time with as much urgency and respect as you would a client appointment because it is worth that much weight.
- Always carry a pen with you. At the end of your event, sit in your car and write personal notes on the back of cards so you remember something unique about each person. That way when you follow up you can ask them about the deal they were working on, or their recent trip, or their son’s soccer game. Make it personal and they will remember you.
- Fall back. If you missed following up from an event then just fall back and don’t do it. It looks very unprofessional when you try to follow up when the person has either forgotten you by now or knows its been too long since the event. Just let it go. Hopefully you’ll see them next time and you can do a better job of following up.
Remember, if you’re not going to follow up don’t bother going. Making connections is the entire reason you should be networking in the first place.