In our previous post on networking events we highlighted the four most common failures that happen when attending such events. Often professionals that attend networking events do not properly follow up or even follow up at all.
The activity of following up itself is often pushed aside because people feel they are “behind” at work due to the event they attended. Although you are busy, it is crucial that you follow up after networking events. Here are four tips on how you should follow-up and continue the conversation with your prospects after you all have gone home from a networking event.
1. Engage with contacts on social media Reach out on social networks and follow the people you met on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. When sending an invitation request to someone, remember to add a personal note or directly send a message to them. When connecting with your new or re-established contacts on social media immediately after the event, you are fresh in their mind and can keep them engaged.
2. Prioritize leads Contrary to popular belief, networking is not about meeting and staying in touch with as many people as possible. Qualify your leads first so that you can tackle the most important contacts first. This focus will even help you reduce your work load when you then start calling and e-mailing.
3. Continue building relationships When you follow-up with your contacts, continue to develop relationships with them. Do not start selling products to them right away. Instead, find out more about them and try to be of service to them in some way. In your follow up emails, for example, you can reference a specific point in your conversation and provide them with something of value like an article or resource related to the topic. Keeping this tip in mind, you could state something like this in your follow up email: “I remember you said that your company is struggling to handle a high volume of diverse customer data. I thought you would find this article helpful: ‘[title of the article with link]’.” Always focus on your contact and do not start talking about business. Therefore statements like “My company specializes in …” or “Please find attached a presentation that shows how my company can help your company with …” should be avoided.
4. Follow up before it is too late The best time for follow-up is within 24-48 hours after an event. Waiting a week or even a month to engage with your contacts will increase the probability that your message or call will be ignored. Has following up after an event lead to something great? Leave a comment below and share it with us. Need help with follow up and applying first sales tactics? We can help you get started – contact us and join one of our Sales & Prasales Special Academy trainings.