If you are following this Speed Networking blog post series, you’ll find most tips can be of help to any kind of networking, in-person, online, speed or otherwise. You may shiver in your shoes and find that pen quivering in your hands just thinking about the follow up. Let me put this out there my friends: don’t even BOTHER with the networking, speed or otherwise, if you don’t plan for a purposeful way of follow-up. You’re just behaving like a spinning top if you do so. Consider what you’ve done at any one event, before you scatter off to the next:
1. When you network you are beginning a conversation, and if you’ve followed some of the other tips to prepare, you’ve likely stirred someone’s curiosity to know more. NOTE: Introverts, networking is a place to begin a deep conversation not to attempt to have the entire discussion. Put on your planning forte when networking. The first encounter is not filled with small talk but instead a small amount of meaningful talk.
2. If you leave your networking at the event, or even worst, make one feeble attempt with email or voice mail to follow-up with someone, you’ve now possibly created a conundrum for the other person in new relationship.
3. If you haven’t focused your niche, your target, you’ll leave thinking, “All of these people are my prospects!” That can be your Achilles heel because of the overwhelm feeling of some much to do now that can lead to inaction.
4. The very nature of speed networking is an organic process. To avoid follow through that moves things along to the next likely action is like a cream beginning to curdle.
5. Your time and energy at any one singular event are just planted seeds of the networking process. For those seeds to grow into any might oak tree, a trusting and meaningful relationship, you have to nourish those seeds. Nourishing any relationship that you deem you want to take further means – a planned follow-up that you purposefully act on.
Okay, are you thinking any differently about your speed networking?
Have any of these questions taken your focus off of you? I’m asking you to consider what you have stirred up in other people with your exuberant enthusiasm during any one singular event.
Are you thinking about what your follow-up plan might include? Great! Because that’s where we are headed in the last of this series of making your speed networking most effective for you.