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You have just attended a cool networking event. The atmosphere was amazing, great encounters. Exchanged business cards with numerous people. Pocket full of business cards, with no idea what to do with them. The questions is “Now what?” The value does not live in the actual card itself. The key is to find out what to do with the valuable information that is housed on the card. So we will go over a few simple ideas to help maximize on this 3.5×2 inches of powerful information.

Networking events is just the jumping-off point for starting a new professional relationship, your follow-up is the key to developing it. And since the stopwatch start as soon as you meet, it’s best to start at step 1 within 24 hours. Here are 5 quick tips on a pathway to connecting after the event has ended:

  1. Send quick email
  2. Connect on LinkedIn
  3. Create “Reconnect “ files
  4. Remember birthdays, ect (small stuff)
  5. Give first, expect nothing in return!!!

4.txtSend a quick email:

  • Utilize the email address that is located on that new, amazing business card you just received. Simply say “thank you” for his/her time, and that you enjoyed connecting. Let him/her know you look forward to sitting down for lunch etc. to discuss networking possibilities.
  • Do not flood the email, with cold impersonal business monologue!!!!!

linkedin

  • WOW!!! LinkedIn a great tool to make great connections. It’s an easy tool that provides notifications for birthdays, business anniversaries, new jobs etc. And these are occasions that can serve as catalyst for follow-ups. So after the initial contact, link up on LinkedIn.

Pendaflex-9200T-1-3-Pressboard-File-FolderReconnect Files 

  • Create reconnect files: After you have met with or spoken to a potential client, you should create a follow-up file. For example, you could schedule a pop-up notification in your calendar once a month to remind you to follow-up aftert the first initial contact. Reach out to catch up, maybe set up another meeting. Even send something that may be valuable like an invite to an upcoming event.
  • What you don’t do is consistently badger and contact every other day….

birthday graphicBirthdays/Special events

  • Remembering important small things like birthdays, anniversaries etc is a valuable tool. So, if you don’t have the birthdays etc on file LinkedIn and Facebook make it so easy for you to “remember”. Social media will also provide other occasions to reach out. YOu find out he/she has a family celebration coming up,  you should reach out and send your well wishes. It’s always about the small things and small gestures that people may simply overlook. These are tools that will open up doors and make room for great business. These are the gestures that warm up the cold business world.

And last, but certainly not least…

Give First, expect nothing in return!

  • No matter the communication channel, always have a positive attitude.
  • Gotta cool idea that could benefit that new contact? Provide that game changing idea free of charge!
  • Desiring to make that connection a client? What you do is give enough help to capture their attention, draw them in, have them wanting more and watch the deal happen. But, if it doesn’t, don’t fret, you have a great new friend in your arsenal!

Author: Mario Hunt, COO of Empowered Strategy

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