You’ve gone out, you’ve met some new contacts, you’ve collected some business cards. Now what?
Business Card Organization
One of the first things I do is organize any business cards I’ve received. I have an earlier post that goes into business card organization in detail. It’s worth your time to read it.
If you said you were going to get back to someone, do so within a day or two*. If someone expressed interest in your business, send them some more information or a link to your website, (LinkedIn, Facebook page). Last week I talked about keeping notes when you’re meeting people or when people are giving their introductions. This would be a good time to review your notes and contact people.
I have a basic rule in that if I can figure something out in 10 minutes, I’ll gladly send information to someone. Once I was at a networking event and one of the people was commenting on how they were overwhelmed with how to handle business cards. I came home and wrote up an email with links to my two business card organization postings. I’ve also sent e-introductions to people who that I thought could have a mutually beneficial relationship. Don’t ever be afraid to help people out.
Sometimes it’s hard to call someone because you don’t know exactly what to say. There is an article from Freelance Switch that gives some scripts for particular situations. To give credit where credit is due, I did not find this article myself but found out about it in a blog post from Evie Burke at One Insight Closer.
Sometimes you’ll meet people and you’ll want to know more about them or their business. Talk to someone or call or email them to set up a one-on-one. This is a good chance to get to know more about them and their business and for them to get to know more about you and your business.
This is not a time for “selling” but a time to build a relationship. I’m sure most people have stories about meeting with someone who spent 30 minutes trying to “sell” them something that they were not interested in buying. Don’t be that person (please).
As I mentioned last week, listening is one of your most useful networking tools. You might not be a client or a customer for every person that you meet, but you might know a good contact for that person. Every person you meet is not a potential client. But every person you meet might know someone that does need your services. Be professional, polite, and a good resource. And then …
MEET, GREET, REPEAT
- What to do After Networking. Evie Burke (oneinsightcloser.com)
- Building Your Business Through Networking Part 3. Mary Wu (marywuva.com)
- Freelancing 911: Turn Your Business Around with Warm Calls and E-mails. Martha Retallick (freelanceswitch.com)
- Not Just Good for Business — Networking Can Make You Smarter. Jessica Stillman (inc.com)
- Why Smart Marketing is Like a Great First Date. Chris Kocek (entrepreneur.com) (also known as “lessons in marketing from Phil Connors as played by Bill Murray – hey any article containing a clip from Groundhog Day can’t be a complete loss)