Blog Post

Follow the *&%$ up!

I am a very active networker.

I run over 10 business networking groups across a region that covers 1293.84 m2 (I know, I googled it – no wonder I’m sleep deprived and car shaped).

And I’m here to tell you now that not bothering to follow up after a networking meeting is killing your personal brand.

Networking is vital to growing your business. Simply put, unless you go out and meet people nobody will know you exist. If they don’t know you exist they won’t buy from you! Its simple.

You can be the best ‘networker’ out there but unless you stop faffing about and follow up with the people you meet you are wasting your time, and mine.

I have met so many people who complain to me that they meet lots of people at networking events, but that they are not getting any business.

I always ask them if they follow up. Sometimes I know they do as they’ve done so with me. Which makes it a bit easier to share this bombshell:

Business cards sitting in piles on your desk are not clients.

You have to make the effort to create that relationship.It’s now time for you to shine just as bright in your follow-up as you did in person when I met you.

If you already have a great system in place to send engaging, personal follow ups to me as a new contact and potential client – good for you – crack on.

But to those who have tucked away those business cards into a neat little stack and filed them away to ‘do it later’ – later is now.

Right then, grab those cards, grab your cape & underpants, here we go:

Don’t leave it too long to get in touch with me. Try & follow up within a few days of meeting someone at an event –an active networker like me will have met & connected with several other folks in the meantime. Get back in touch with me as soon as you can before I forget you.

Do make sure all your contact information is readily available in your email signature when you contact me. It’s so frustrating if there is no easy way for me to find this data and keep in touch if I want to carry on the conversation and get to know you better.

Don’t send me a ‘buy my stuff’ email. Unless that’s what you have promised to do, sending a ‘hello, nice to meet you, now let me have some of your hard earned cash’ email to me is an instant turn off. You can guarantee you’ll get filed in the Deleted Items folder straight away – at least make the effort to reference the event & the conversation you had with me, and suggest a way to keep our conversation going.

Do pick up the phone & talk to me. There’s no law that says you can only follow up by email. Why not stand out from the impersonal crowd by picking up the phone and having a chat instead? The worst thing that’s going to happen is you go to voicemail…..

Don’t add me to your b%%*$y mailing list. I’m not likely to network regularly at an event that is hours away from me, so stop sending me invites when I didn’t ask you to. Ditto ‘round robin’ newsletter emails about your new product/service/grandchild. I don’t care. And now I’m just pissed off that you added me without my permission. Get yourself on the right side of the new data protection stuff coming up & stop it, OK?

Do give me something to go on – if you have an article/download or blog of interest you think I might get some value from, then add that link to your message & invite me to read it.
Don’t automatically add me to every sodding social media platform you’ve ever used – it’s just one step away from adding me to your email list and I’ll be just as pissed off about that. Engage with me first. Get a conversation going. Then maybe I’ll want to be part of it.

Do close your first follow up to me with some suggested next steps – maybe a further chat at another networking event, or a call in a few days time – give me the opportunity to take you up on it.

You may not like follow up.

You may think you don’t need more connections in your database.

You may not need more sales.

However, very few people attend networking sessions who don’t want anything out of it at all.

If you made the decision and had to work up any courage to go to a networking event then it’s equally important that you make the most of those efforts and follow the *&%$ up!

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