I have found that many shop owners, and business owners in general, regularly attend networking events and are members of various networking groups. Networking events and groups offer a great opportunity to grow business through meeting potential customers and referral partners.
Having been involved in several networking groups over the years, I’ve found many struggle with effectively following up with people they meet at a networking event. This is understandable. If you attend a good networking event, you are quite likely to walk out of the event with a pocketful of business cards. We know most of the people we’ve just met do not have an immediate need for our service or products.
The question, then, is not just how to effectively follow up, but also how do we stay top of mind. That way, when the need arises for our services or products, the contact will think of us. To help with this, I want to share six tips I have picked up over the years and an amazing tool I have discovered. We will start at the point you arrive home or back at the office following a networking event. You have a pocket of new business cards, and you need results.
How to get results
Tip 1: Take the time to email each new contact within the first 24 hours of the event. A simple, “it was nice meeting you yesterday at the networking event. I enjoyed our conversation and wanted to see if you might have some free time to grab a cup of coffee in the next week or so.” If you take notes about your conversation with the person (I write them right on their business card), you can reference the conversation.
Tip 2: Take advantage of social media, especially LinkedIn, by sending your new contacts a connection request. LinkedIn can be a great tool for learning about your new contact. LinkedIn can provide useful information about your new contact’s business and who they know. Their contact information is beyond what is on their business card and often has their birthday included in their profile.
Tip 3: Send a “nice to meet you” card. There are a couple reasons for this. One, it will make you stand out. Everyone sends email, but a personal note in the mail is increasingly rare. Because of the overwhelming amount of email most professionals receive, it is easy for your initial email to get lost. Most people say they do not read all their emails. Not to mention, emails can be quickly forgotten after they are read. A card will have a much longer shelf life.
This is where I take advantage of SendOutCards and a contact’s Facebook page. I will search for the page, download a nice photo of them, and upload it into my SendOutCards account. I can add the photo of the contact on the inside cover of the card and my picture near my signature. This provides facial recognition. It creates that “wow” factor that will make you and your message memorable.
Tip 4: Schedule and hold a one to one as soon as possible. This will provide a great opportunity to connect on a deeper level with the new contact and learn how you can help each other.
Tip 5: Remember the little things. Sending birthday cards, interesting articles, referrals, and congratulations goes a long way towoard building a great relationship.
Tip 6: Create a follow-up reminder system. As I mentioned before, many new contacts won’t have an immediate need for our services or products. Therefore, we want to stay top of mind with the contact. When the need arises, they think of us. This can be anything that puts our name in front of them. It could be a phone call, sending a newsletter, an invite to another networking event, or a simple note saying hi.
This is another area I have found SendOutCards to be incredibly useful. Taking advantage of the campaign feature in SendOutCards, I can schedule a series of cards to go out over time and put my follow up on virtual autopilot. SendOutCards can also send you reminders for a contact’s birthday, anniversary or any other important date.
These tips can greatly increase your results from the time you spend networking. If you are curious how SendOutCards can help get you next level results, contact us at Turnaround Tour ShopPros today. We will be happy to answer your questions and schedule a system walkthrough with you. Once you test drive it, you will understand why so many call SendOutCards the best relationship marketing tool on the market today!