In eleven years of professional networking, I have found that this is one of the most common mistakes people make. They make a great first impression with a business person that they meet at an event and then they forget to contact them again.
Follow up builds trust and ensures that your prospective client knows that you value them and their business and that you would like to go on and build a relationship of trust with them and are keen to do business together.
A great opportunity that currently exists to make a new client is often lost forever.
8 Simple Steps to Convert More Clients
- At the networking event, get their business card and ask them if you could give them a phone call in the morning to set up a coffee meeting with them in the next few days.
- When you get home, you need to record this person and the event. A CRM system is great for this or an Excel Spread Sheet. I use Insightly CRM for mine. File your cards in a folder or a box. I always write the date and event on the back of the card.
- First thing in the morning, call them to arrange a coffee meeting, ask them to choose a café close to their work and arrange a day and time that is suitable to you both.
- Phone or email them the day before to check that they are still available to meet you for your coffee meeting and say that you are looking forward to meeting up with them and getting to know more about them and their business.
- SMS them about 8:00am in the morning of your coffee meeting as a final reminder. How many times have you turned up after checking in the day before and the people have forgotten or a last minute event has happened?
- When you meet for your first coffee meeting, it is about building a relationship of trust and finding out about them and their business and how you can assist them. Do not do a ‘hard sell’ at this time.
- Look up people in both of your databases that may be a good fit for one another that you can introduce each other to. Set up a coffee meeting for a month’s time and at that coffee meeting bring an introduction, referral or connection that they are looking for to the meeting. This will build immediate credibility and they will know that you are truly interested in being a business associate that they can trust.
- Doing business together is now that next natural step.
Rose Gibbens is Director of Networkers Referral Group and is a networking professional in Brisbane.
If you would like further information about Follow Up or Networking in Brisbane, Rose is available to chat to. If you would like to visit one of Rose’s Four networking groups in Brisbane, a Free Guest Pass is available on request.