Remember the days when we were attending networking events in person before covid-19? You would meet all kinds of people of influence to connect with them at a later date. You’re excited and you can’t wait to get home and connect with the people that you just met. I’m going to talk about 5 connection tools to maximize after a speaking event.
So what do you do with all of those cards now. Let’s be honest, you take a look at all of those cards and you can’t remember who most of those people are. Yet alone the date you atteneded the networking event. So you give up and do nothing or you end up throwing away those cards or putting them in a drawer and doing nothing with them at all. Did you know that those business cards are considered a tool that you should be taking advantage of? Carry your cards with you whereever you go. Pass them out at the grocery store, gas station clerk, out for a jog or walk, at the gym you get what I mean. It doesn’t always have to be at a networking event where you might meet someone who is looking for a speaker. Or who knows of someone who is looking for a speaker at their event.
You Should Always Follow Up After A Networking Event
I’m sure that you have told that time and time again but it is true. Most people don’t do that. You bring your cards home and forget about them. What you really should be doing is making notes on the back of the card once it is given to you. That way your note will jog your memory and give you an idea of who that person was. If you are not following up with the person who gave you the card how do you know if they are still in business? If they even have the same email address or what important event has happened in their life? The purpose of following up is for you to give value to that person. It’s not all about what they can do for you it’s what you can do for them and how you can bring value to their business.
Networking is all about building relationships and helping each other out. Even if you can’t use their service or product, that shouldn’t matter. You never know who they know who could use your services later on down the line. So stay in contact with them to stay top of mind. How do you do that? If you see a article that could be of interest to them send it to them with a note saying hey I saw this article and I thought that it would be something that you would be interested in. Or ask them if they would like to be added to your newsletter. Better yet ask to have a virtual coffee with them over Zoom or your streaming platform of choice. Do not sell your services or products to them over the virtual coffee. You are getting to know each other and see how you add value to their business.
Make Notes Immediately After The Networking Event
How many networking events have you attended, collected cards and then completely forgot who the person was, or what you talked about? I am guilty of the above. Once someone passes you their card, you should immediately make a note somewhere on the card briefly what you talked about what they did in their business or if you need to send something to them that you said you would. If you can’t use their business you might know of someone else who can. Use his/her card as a business referrel for someone else.
Connect With Them On Their Social Media Channels
Go their social media channels and connect with them. Make sure that you are sending them a note with your connection letting them know where you met them from. That way it should at least jog their memory of how you met and know each other. They might not remember you but you can’t take it personal if they don’t.
Most people don’t remember you after a networking event just like you they have collected plenty of business cards, didn’t make notes on them or took them home and threw them in a drawer. You can find out tons of information about them via social media. See what they are posting. What exactly is their brand? Who do they follow also. It could turn out that they are some of the same people you should be following too. Comment on their posts in Facebook and LinkedIn or tweets if it is Twitter. Retweet and repost their articles. This way you can make a deeper connection with them.
Add The Cards To A CRM
Put them in a CRM (Contact Management System) and tag them. You should have some sort of a system set up for tagging. That way you can send them certain information specifically for them. Categorize the business cards in 3 categories :
- Are they a Lead? Someone who would want to work with you in the future and showed interest.
- Qualified Lead. Someone who might be interested in wanting to work with you but they are not sure. You need to follow up and qualify them.
- And last Connections. Someone that you want to make a connection with and build a relationship with.
You might end up working together further down the road, refer business to each other. You also can have your Virtual Assistant do this for you too.
Send A Follow-Up Email
After a networking event I like to follow-up by sending a nice to meet you email. If this was an event that was held of town I like to follow-up to make sure that they made it home safely and how much I enjoyed meeting them. That way you get to reintroduce yourself and thank them for their time. Let them know again how they can contact you directly if they have any questions.
Bio: Speaker Support Consultant
Deborah Northcutt is the CEO of https://www.FreeYouUpVA.com. I am a Speaker Support Consultant who helps new and aspiring speakers find their ideal speaking opportunities. I help free you up to speak so that you can make more money and live the life that you dreamed of.