Networking Best Practices Part III: Follow-Up

This is the third and final part to our three part blog series all about networking! If you missed the first two blogs, they were all about preparing for the big day and what to do on the day itself. You can check these out here for part one and here for part two.

Today’s blog is about following up. It’s not just the communication on the day that’s important. You also need to follow-up with potential leads in the days following the event.

Networking: Results are in the follow-up

It’s not what happens at the event that leads to sales, it’s the follow-up! Here are some tips for following up effectively:

  • Connect on LinkedIn (if you haven’t already). LinkedIn is a great platform for networking professionally. By connecting with them, it means that you can get in touch with people easily. But it also allows them to see who you are and what the business is about.
  • Personalise your follow-up. Don’t just send a generic message to everyone, it will likely just end up being deleted before it’s even read. Instead make notes on the day about your conversation with each person as you go, so that you can refer to what you’ve discussed and make your follow-up more personal. I find it best to write any notes on the business card itself, so you don’t have loads of pieces of paper.
  • Use open-ended questions. Rather than saying ‘If you want more information, just let me know’, maybe say ‘How are you getting on with the development of the educational course that you mentioned? I’d love to hear more’. It demonstrates that you’re customer-focused, but also helps you to stand out from the rest.
  • Remember my point in an earlier blog about asking questions to draw out their problems? Well now is certainly the time to use their responses. Explain how you can solve the issues that they’ve mentioned, and offer to have a call with them. During a call, it’s much more difficult to avoid responding, as they can’t dismiss you as easily as they can with an email.
  • Continue to check in – it takes time to get results. In sales, you need to chase people around 5 times before you get any reply or result. With networking, it’s exactly the same! As Adam Rifkin said, ‘don’t rush relationships, trust takes time’.

If you don’t have time to check in with people after the event, then it may not be worth going in the first place. Following up shows that you are interested in them, and not just about getting sales on the day.

I hope you’ve found these tips useful. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn page and our blog for more tips like these.