So now you’ve attended a networking event, made some great connections, and have business cards from everyone you’ve connected with, but have you really connected yet? The answer is no. At this point you have made contact, but have not yet connected. You may have felt that you have made a personal connection, and that you just may have done, but the true connection and the fortune is in the follow up.
The follow up is a 3 step process, this process will help cement the contact to the connection and this is where the relationship is created, this is what I like to call “The Touch Method”.
- Step 1: Touch Base
- Step 2: Touch Tone
- Step 3: Touch Heart
Touch Base: This is the very 1st form of the follow up and it’s real simple. This is where you send your new contact an email with a subject line as simple as: Great Meeting Last Night at (Name of Event and Venue). The body of the email is very important and where you have a chance to show your contact that you were paying attention to what he/she was saying, remember “people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care” This is where you simply say what a great time you had, how happy you are to meet them, and also this is where you use the short note you wrote on the back of their card that ties you into them. For example: John/Jane, It truly was a pleasure meeting you last night at the XYZ Networking Event at The Hilton. It sure sounds like you accounting business is growing strong, and I would be happy to help you to continue your growth through my network. I particularly like the fact that you can successfully build your business and continue to pay close attention to your family, coaching your 2 daughter’s softball teams. I will be calling you in the next couple of days about the possibility of getting together for coffee or if our schedules permit, going to lunch so we can discuss how we can effectively help build our businesses. Looking forward to our call. Thomas Camarda 000-000-0000. Now the you have Touched Base, on to the next step…
Touch Tone: I call this step “Touch Tone” because, you guessed it, this is the phone call. At this point you have established your contact and are now about to move it to connection. Simply give your contact a call to set an appointment to get together for coffee or lunch and be sure it is out of the work place. The reason you want to meet out of the work place is to ensure that there will be no distractions. This call is a brief call, keep it short and simple and respect their time. Something like: Hi John/Jane, this is Thomas Camarda. We met the other day at XYZ Networking Event. How are You? The reason for the call is, as I mentioned in my email, I think it would be great if we can grab lunch, share some ideas, and see how we can help build our businesses. Is Tuesday or Wednesday better for you? Set the appointment; say “Great looking forward to it” and the call is over. Right after the call, set it in your calendar and send them a calendar reminder. I use Google calendar for this, it seems to work well for me. Now on to the next step
Touch Heart: This is where the connection is solidified and the relationship begins. Your goal here is to create a relationship. When you first get together ask, “So tell me about yourself and your business” and let them do all the talking without interruption. Don’t worry about getting your time to talk. As they tell you about themselves, as questions and truly be interested in what they say. This process will help you to know how you can better work with them and also help you “Touch Their Heart”. Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves, and the most wonderful sound to the human ear is the most familiar sound, their own voice. Even if you haven’t had the chance to say anything, and the meeting came to an end, your new connection will walk away thinking what a great person you are without you saying a word simply because you listened. The chance for you to talk will definitely come because, at one point, your new connection will ask you, “So tell me about you”. This is exactly what you are looking for, because now they are genuinely interested and will listen to what you have to say, because you gave them the respect of hearing them. This is where the relationship is born and begins to blossom.
Remember, helping your new connection build their business, will lead to them reciprocating and helping you do the same. So whether or not you actually do business together is not the point of this meeting. The birth of a solid business relationship is the goal. That will bring you business for years to come.
Next Week’s Networking Tip: Effectively Working The Room
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