Why your Networking will Fail if you Don’t Follow Up
I’ve had the opportunity to join several different business networks over the years and I’ve seen it work incredibly well, and I’ve seen it fail with the same excuses being touted around “Networking just doesn’t work for my business.” The End.
Networking has it’s place for all businesses, there are different groups, different areas, etc. But the sad thing is, if you finish networking once you leave the room, you have just wasted your time and money.
I’ve seen this and sadly at times I’ve done this. When the clock strikes 9am/10am (whenever your networking finishes), you say goodbye, you thank people for a great meeting and then leave – forgetting about it for another week until you are back in the room. Big mistake.
So here are my simple tips to make the most out of your networking experience: –
1. Be in the Room
It sounds silly because, after all, where else would you be? But how many times have you seen someone look at their phone? Or take a call? It’s rude – of course there are exceptions IE you’re on call, you’re a doctor, etc. But generally, when you are looking at your phone, you are wanting to be somewhere else, so either put the phone down or go to that something that has your attention.
2. Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
We’ve all been there, stuck with the person who talks and talks and talks, and we stand there just thinking “I know what you do, either ask me what I do or go away” but in their ramblings could be a gem; an idea maker or a deal maker either for you or someone in your network. Networking isn’t just about getting you business, but If you can put two people together for the sake of their business, there is a massive feel good in that and what goes around comes around!
3. Know What you Do
Another tip that sounds like it’s one we all know but how many times have we stood up when it’s our 40/60 seconds and bumbled our way through it? Making noise rather than sense? Plan it, learn it, use it – and remember, no one in the room really cares what you do, they are having their breakfast, worrying about their random 40/60 seconds and of course wanting people to buy from them. So make sure it stands out from the crowd, get people’s attention and sell the benefits not the features!
4. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!
The meeting does not end when you step outside the room! For a lot of people, that is exactly what happens, you will never hear from them again until you see them at the next meeting. Have a process in place to follow up, a simple few emails, that not only ask them what they want but also promotes you. Even doing this simple exercise means that you stand out from the crowd (As most people don’t bother!)
Whoever said the fortune is in the follow up….was right!