Networking Follow-Up Techniques To Turn Prospects Into Customers

business puzzle

How good are you at following up after a networking event? Do you have a follow-up system in place? I hope you’re not someone who says, “I’ll call you and we’ll meet for coffee” and then you never do.

A lot of people complain that networking doesn’t work for them and it could be that they just aren’t following up. They have to do the work in order to get results. The action of attending a networking event will not produce new clients. They have to take the next step which is to follow up.

After all, if you’re not going to follow-up, what’s the point in networking anyway?

If you’ve met someone at a networking function who you feel is a good prospect for your business, there are a number of ways to connect so that you can keep in touch, build a relationship and potentially turn your prospect into a customer. Whether you touch base by phone, snail mail, email or social media, follow-up is key. It’s best to follow-up within 24 hours of the initial meeting while the connection is still top of mind.

Here are a few follow-up strategies:

  1. Send your prospect a Facebook friend request or invite them to connect with you on LinkedIn for example. If you are an established business and have been networking for awhile, chances are that you and your prospect have a number of mutual social media connections already. This is a great conversation starter. Posting valuable information regularly demonstrates your expertise and helps develop trust to build the relationship.

  2. Send your prospect an email inviting them to sign up for your ezine. Inform them of the type of content they can expect to receive from you and when. Let them add themselves to your mailing list via your sign up page and if done correctly, the system you are using to distribute your ezine should give them the option to unsubscribe if they find your information is not for them.

  3. Send your prospect a written note. To make the connection personal, mention something specific you discussed when you met. You can also include an article or other piece of information that you feel will be of interest to them.

  4. Contact your prospect by phone. Summarize what you talked about at the event or something you have in common. Invite them to coffee or tea. Suggest a couple of dates and times to meet at a mutually convenient location. This is a great way to continue the interaction in order to build the relationship.

Use one or a combination of a couple of the above strategies to initiate contact after a networking event. Get to know the person and educate them. Keep in mind that the person doesn’t care about what you do, they care about what you can do for them!

Remember this networking follow-up etiquette:

  • Do make contact. If you promise to stay in touch, follow through on that promise. It builds trust.

  • Don’t leave it open-ended with “we should get together sometime”. With this approach it will likely never happen.

  • Don’t immediately sell to the person. I don’t think anyone enjoys being pressured to buy.

  • Don’t add the person to your mailing list without their permission to do so.

Networking is one piece of the marketing puzzle. Make it an effective use of your time so that prospects develop into something more.

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2 Comments

  • Patricia Weber

    Reply Reply April 29, 2012

    Great suggestions. Most people express they don’t follow-up because they feel like – they are bothering the person.

    This usually comes about because of where the person who is selling has the focus – on themselves. When we focus on helping the other person versus trying to sell something, this FEELING of bothering, usually diminishes.

    Then someone can pick right up with your tips.

    • Hi Pat, This is so true and a great mindset to take on. Yes, it all comes down to helping each other. If you make a sale in the process great. Feeling the pressure of having to sell or being sold to is an uncomfortable place to be.

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