You can attend a huge networking event where you meet many people. You’ve done a great job of approaching them, introducing yourself and learned about others and exchanged contact details. The next thing you know, you are heading home with multitudes of business cards, some belonging to potential clients or partners.
But now what? You are not sure where to begin with the cards and contact details. Perhaps, you don’t know what your next step should be. Do you call them up? Or send an email? How many days to wait before you make contact? Safe to say, we all have been in the same boat at least once earlier. There’s always a dilemma when it comes to following up with potential clients after a successful networking event.
It’s a good idea to take the initiative because it gives you the chance to lead things the way you want to. Remember to do your research on the potential clients’ company, business and challenges so that you can tailor your communication accordingly.
Email is the best, safest and most convenient option to get in touch. Not only are they professional, they also give the receiver enough time and space to respond properly. For many people a cold call isn’t their best way of communicating so sending a note to request a call or a time to discuss something can be a good ice breaker.
Remember, they will get a hundred emails every day so ensure that you send an email that will be remembered. Your goal is to make sure the recipient actually opens the email, and that requires you to catch their eye immediately.
It’s a busy world out there, and what you need to put in your email are calls to action. They are simple, yet powerful tools that continue a conversation between yourself and your client.
Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook present excellent opportunities to connect with potential contacts. In fact, 33% of Business to Business (B2B) decision makers use LinkedIn to research their purchases. This will help you also reach out and be on top of mind if you are posting on social media, as well as be aware of any life or professional milestone in your potential client’s life. Before you do so, ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated by using our tips here.
One thing to bear in mind about following up is that they are not about you or your work. Since your goal is to build rapport and establish relationships with potential clients, add value by understanding their needs, work, requirements and challenges. Offer solutions to their challenges and share helpful resources with them, even if they are not your brand. You can even talk about books, blogs, podcasts that have helped you and will resume your conversation from the networking event.
Once you have chosen the potential clients you want to contact, emailed them and the connection is flowing, scan them to your email contacts and use categories and dates to set reminders. You could also have an easy spreadsheet that moves them along the pipeline or add them to your database.
Now that you know what to do with those business cards and contact details, it is time for you to reach out and expand your potential contact network!
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