We have discussed before the importance of follow up with clients and prospects. If you attend a networking event and meet other people with whom you desire to network, establish relationships, or do business, you must follow up and get to know them better. People do business with, and refer business to, people that they know, like, and trust. There is no prize that is presented to the person who leaves a networking event with the most business cards from others. The prize goes to the person who does the best follow up.
In the past two weeks, I have attended several networking events, where the attendees met other people who were there to promote themselves and their businesses. All attendees provided information about themselves and their businesses and were able to obtain information regarding the other attendees. When you attend an event such as these, you aim to meet people with whom you can connect and build relationships. If those relationships lead to new clients or referrals, you accomplish your goal.
Just meeting others is not enough; you must follow up and form that relationship which should lead further. Calling these individuals is not a cold call; they should relate to the fact that you met at a recent meeting and spoke about further meetings. It is so important for these meetings to take place sooner, rather than later. Plan your schedule so that you can have these follow up meetings and start to build these relationships. If you don’t follow up, attending the meeting in the first place was a waste of your time, effort, and money.
Often we meet people and decide that we do not care to build a relationship with them as we believe that any relationship with these individuals would not benefit us. Never, ever prejudge anyone. The people you meet may never do business with you or refer anyone to you. However, what’s wrong with reaching out and helping someone else learn about networking and building relationships? Be a giver, and the world will return your gifts multifold.
In addition, you never know who these people may know. Perhaps that is someone whom you should meet to start to build relationships. It amazes me how people have tunnel vision when they meet new people. They never consider that the person who will never become their client may have friends or acquaintances who are looking for what they have to market. Marketing is making others aware of what you have to offer, who you are, and how you make the buying experience so wonderful for your customers. If you never speak further with these new acquaintances that you just met, how will your message get out to the world?
In this past two week period, I attended an event where many people paid to have tables to promote their business. After the event, I emailed each of these business people and offered to meet with them for follow up if they would contact me, and I included all versions of my contact information, phone, email, and mailing address. Only one of the people whom I offered to meet contacted me and followed up. Why were you there, and why did you waste the time, effort, and money you spent to promote your business?
What type of follow up do you practice after meeting anyone new? Do you prejudge anyone? What do your follow up practices say about you client service and how much, or little, you care about your clients and prospects? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or call me at 360-314-8691 with your thoughts. Every missed follow up is a missed opportunity to market your business and reach out to others who may assist you in your marketing, at a very small price. You are what you do, or don’t do. Who are you?