When you make a contact or meet someone at a networking event, do you follow up? Following up can be weird, but simply stashing these contacts away for fear of awkwardness doesn’t do anything for your business either. There’s an art to doing the follow-up well, and it’s a useful skill, no matter what business you have.
Before you follow up, get to know your contact. One way you can do this is to do a bit of investigation on social media. Look at their Facebook page–do they use humor to engage? Do they take things seriously? How they interact with their followers will give you an idea of how they may interact with you, and this can make any follow-up conversations less awkward.
It is also important not to wait too long to follow up. Whether you call or email, you should not delay in following up, or else you risk your contact losing interest and the connection is gone. When you do actually make contact, make sure you maximize the time you have to make an impression, continue a connection and lay the foundation for a business relationship in the future. In your follow-up, be sure that you accomplish the following:
- Ask to schedule a time to meet again in person
- Refer to specific things you discussed in your initial meeting
- Offer your services — but don’t ask for anything in return yet
If you rely on leads for a significant amount of your business or need to follow up with contacts on a regular basis, you may find it useful to have a follow-up system in place. This can make it easier to take that step and make contact, even when it’s uncomfortable and potentially awkward. A follow-up system can take the pain out of the worst part of making new contacts and networking — the follow-up.
By Meagan Kerlin for Vertu Marketing LLC