The key purpose of networking is to build your relationships with other business owners, in the area, whom might at some point in the future have a need for your businesses products or services.
At which point, as people are more likely to buy from those they know like and trust, your key goal at any networking event, not just ours, is to forge as many genuine business relationships as you can with those whom you resonate with and who resonate with you in return.
Therefore it’s imperative to understand that the role of our Speed Networking events is to facilitate that first encounter and connection being made.
Once made it is up to you to then keep the conversation going.
One of the reasons we chose to build a networking group on the concept of speed networking is because it’s not that unlike the old-fashioned act of meeting and then courting a prospective loved one! You need to woo and court your business contacts so that they feel comfortable with you, taking your business relationship to the next step, once needs arise.
Therefore we suggest the following 10 actions to help you in your efforts to keep the conversation following long after you’ve met at our events.
- Take action the day after (or at worse no more than 48 hours afterwards), whilst the contact and conversation are still fresh in both of your minds.
- Email your connections (that way they get your contact info into their inbox, even if they’ve lost your card) and thank them for meeting them, at this point try and drop some link to the conversation you’ve had. To show you were listening and engaged in them and their business, it will score you credibility in their eyes.
- Find and connect with them on Linked In. LinkedIn is like a modern day rolodex of business contacts but with more kick. It’s the place to be found if you are in business. Make sure you connect with them here.
- Like their Business Facebook page. To operate a business these days without being found on Facebook raises suspicion. Ensure you like their page, a notification will flag up to them to say you’ve done so.
- Only once you’ve liked their page first, can you then drop them a message to their businesses Facebook Page’s account also letting them know that you have done this and then possibly ask them to return the gesture (copy and paste your pages URL into the message to help them locate your page) by liking your business page back. (Of course this can also extend to be-friending them into your friends list, but it depends how you manage your personal profile)
- As the conversation between you both grows, ask their permission to add their email address to your mailing list.
- Try and find a way to send them something personal in the post. Post is a slow means of communication these days so few people use it, that means if you do, your correspondence can have a great impact. Can you identify any birthdays or anniversaries on their profiles that will allow you to send them a card?
- Look for ways and opportunities to keep a conversation or engagement between you open. Has their favourite football team just won a game? Can you graduate them? Are there any burning questions that you can help answer, by which to show your friendliness and worth?