Lack of follow up.
Networking is useless if you don’t do any follow up.
After the event, immediately enter the business cards you collected into your database. Be sure to add any notes you made on the cards during the event. I always add the name of the event and the date so I can remember where I met them. If I send an email or a card I make a note of that also. If you say, “Let’s get together for coffee or lunch,” then make that happen. It shouldn’t be something you just say to make conversation. You can call or email after the event to set it up.
Within 48 hours, be sure to send a “nice to meet you note” by mail or e-mail and anything else you promised to send.
If they are not a potential customer ask them to introduce you to those they know who may be, and refer people to them that may be their potential clients. If they are a potential customer, learn as much as you can about their business and possible ways you might help them.
Figure out a way to keep in contact on a regular basis.
Connect further with the people you met by utilizing social media to start building a relationship. Watch the media for the people you are interested in. If you see an article about them, clip it and send it to them with a note about doing business together. If you read an article that would interest them, send it.
Don’t let business cards collect dust on your desk.
Go through them immediately after the event and if you don’t enter them in your database throw them out. Yes, it is okay to throw out a business card. What I usually do is band all the cards from a specific event together with a note on them with the name of the event and the date. If I haven’t touched them in a month or two I toss them.
Everyone can learn to network. Salespeople and entrepreneurs need to become expert at it.
Try to get everyone in your company to network. A great way to get started is to have the salespeople bring an employee with them to every networking event they attend.
Be sure you have a networking strategy.
Choose carefully the events you attend and turn all the time, money and effort spent at networking events into business by using the previous tips I’ve blogged about.
If you have a specific question or situation that my blog hasn’t addressed, please feel free to send me an email at email@example.com , or see my website for frequently asked questions.