As an Entrepreneur Networking is part of your Marketing Toolkit and I am sure you have spent a lot of time and money on this activity. How often have you left an event with the best intentions to connect with someone, but then you get busy and you forget to do so?
The most important part of Networking is connecting with the person after the event as that that is why you went to the event in the first place.
Here are a few tips on what to do after a networking event:
- At the Xtraordinary Women Networking Events each Guest receives a contact list and are encouraged to make notes while the Guests introduce themselves. You can not always remember what everyone does in the room so taking notes of who does what is important.
- If there is no contact list available, obtain their business card and write the date and the name of the event where you met at the back of the card. Also jot down what you spoke about and why you asked them for their card. This information will become useful when you want to reach out to someone months down the line. You might have forgotten why you asked them for their business card and when you email them you can remind them where you meet and the date of the event as well as the context of your conversation.
- It is recommended that you follow up, no later than 48 hours, after the event. Everyone gets busy after an event and you want to connect with them while the event is still fresh in their minds.
- Email (or call) the person after the event and comment on how you enjoyed meeting them and that you would like to connect. Invite them for a coffee to find out more about what they do. Do not make the whole meeting about you and what you can do for them. Find out more about them first and determine if there is anything that you can do for them. You might know someone that can help them in their business or you might have a useful article to share to assist them. Being a resource for someone else puts you top of mind. People do business with someone they know and trust and if you help them, they are more likely to support you.
- Connect with them on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the number one Business Social Networking Tool available to Entrepreneurs and Professionals. Use it to maximize your networking efforts.
- Follow them on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media platforms that they have a presence on. Continue to connect online after the event. Like, share and comment on their posts.
- Reach out and thank the host of the event. This also greats a good impression and keeps you top of mind. Each person that you meet at an event has their own personal network that they can recommend you to.
The key to successful networking is to build lasting relationships. It goes beyond just swapping business cards. If you follow the above steps, you are setting a solid foundation to building a network of people that know and trust you and in turn will either do business with you when the time is right or recommend you to a colleague or friend.