Speed Networking: 6 Tip Planned Approach to Networking Follow-up

The only thing “speedy” about speed networking is the number of people you meet. To increase your success of finding potential connectors, collaborators or customers, it’s crucial you follow-up. You opened the door and so it’s up to you, not the prospect, to keep that door open. Here are the top six tips to consider in your follow-up planning:

    1. Within 24 hours either call or email any contact you want to get to know better merely thanking them for a “fabulous” meeting. Leave your sales pitch behind.

    2. Within 48 hours send a handwritten note, you can use SendOutCards to make this easy, without even going to the card shop. Express your interest in a future discussion about what their needs might be. Yes; this is a more appropriate place to move the sales conversation forward.

    3. Be sure to meet with anyone you believe you could refer business to or receive referrals from within about a week. Life goes on and so might their top-of-awareness of you.

After the 48 hour to one week follow-up plan, schedule your longer term follow-up.

    4. Consider your average sales cycle. My sales cycle for my coaching and training services is long – sometimes 6 to 24 months. So in my plan, I have at a minimum, a quarterly follow-up. Even Internet products can have a long cycle so create 7 to 12 autoresponder emails to make this automatic and easy for you.

    5. What on earth do you follow-up about over the long term? Start with your prospective clients interests. You are building a relationship and when that prospective client is ready to buy, you’ll stand out from others when you show you were listening to their interests. For example, let’s say you hear your prospect likes red wines. Something comes across your radar screen about a highly rated red wine. Call, email, Tweet or direct message your client to let them know you believe this little tidbit will be of interest.

    Another example is to send them a birthday card. There is no better way than this to get more personal. I mean who doesn’t like receiving a real paper greeting card in the mail?

    6. If you purposefully reduce the information you share right from the get go, it will leave you other valid business reasons to follow-up. So you have maybe 10 products for people to consider. First of all, if you are other focused from the get-go you won’t fall in the trap of letting loose a flock of pigeons, that is, just rattling off your offering in a long list. You do know what a flock of pigeons can do? Instead, focus on one or two offerings. This leaves you the opportunity for mention of 8 others in your follow-up.

Speed networking can put you on the fast track to more sales results when you plan out a system for your follow-up. Diversify the degree of closeness to your prospect and include everything from a spontaneous telephone call to meeting in-person for coffee or the like to anything that is more removed like email.

How will you use these ideas to act on a planned approach to your networking follow-up?

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  1. Good tips Pat. Network right the first time.

    A put for that thought: An architect designing a stairwell had to retrace his steps.#pun

  2. Catarina Alexon says

    Good article about an important subject Patricia.

    A birthday card is a fabulous way – and it works. Know someone in the Middle East who had a client who lost his father. So he went to the funeral and the client appreciated it so much he got one assignment after the other. Not sure that would work in the West though.

    Personally I always try to see people in person. Invite them for lunch, coffee whatever. That way you can start building up a business relationship that’s mutually beneficial.

  3. Jim, I love that – do it right the first time.

    Catarina, those things mean a good deal even to those of us in the West. Thanks for that stellar example.

  4. jeannettepaladino

    I’d like to add one tip to your great list that may seem at odds with what you’re saying. And that is if you get absolutely no response from the prospect or if it’s clear that s/he doesn’t want to develop a relationship, then don’t keep bugging the person. You have plenty of other people you can follow up with.

  5. Jeannette it makes perfect sense! We don’t all say “no” and we certainly don’t all say “no” the same. If it’s as absolute as you suggest, no response, I might go one more step and ask a different question. If that leads to nothing, I’d take the hint! People come in and out of our lives, and as the often quoted statement goes, “for a reason, for a season or for a lifetime.” Non-responsive network encounter, I’d say learn from it and as you say, move on.


  6. Pat
    On Aug. 16 you facilitated a speed networking session for Peninsula Women’s Network. Not only was it fabulous, but your follow-up tips worked! I was able to double my results. My current “business” is as a volunteer for the local Red Cross chapter. I have a 100% increase over ’09 in my attendees for their major fund raiser. The personal touch with calls and notes cannot be beat!


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