by: Debbie LaChusa
The last time you went to a business or networking event, how many of the people you met and gave your business card to actually took the time to follow up with you afterward?
If your experience is anything like mine, most of the people you meet DON'T follow up.
You have a nice conversation, you trade business cards and unless you follow up with them, you never hear from them.
So now for the tough question …
How good are YOU at following up with people you meet?
Heres a quick test to rate yourself:
10 points: I call them the next day to share an idea or resource, enter their contact information into my database, and make a note in my calendar to follow up again in a few weeks.
9 points: I immediately send a handwritten note sharing an idea or resource, enter their contact information into my database, and make a note in my calendar to follow up again in a few weeks.
8 points: I immediately send a handwritten note, enter them into my contact database and make a note to follow up.
7 points: I immediately send an email and enter them into my contact database.
6 points: I send an email within 2-3 days and enter them into my contact database.
5 points: I send a note or email 1 week after meeting them and throw their business card into a pile of “things to file” on my desk.
4 points: I send a note or email 1 week after meeting someone then toss their business card into the trash.
3 points: It takes me longer than 1 week to follow up and I toss their card after I contact them.
2 points: Their business card sits on my desk for weeks until Im finally too embarrassed to follow up.
1 point: I lose their business card before I get back to my home or office.
9-10 points: Congratulations, youre a networking pro and odds are your business is largely driven by your networking and follow-up.
6-8 points: Youre doing a good job creating new relationships, but if you step it up a notch and add more follow-up youll likely see more business blossom from your networking activities.
3-5 points: You probably enjoy getting out and meeting people but when it comes to details and follow-up, youre either too busy or its just not your cup of tea. If networking is one of your primary marketing activities, you may want to invest in a business card scanner ($150 at Office Depot) to help you build your contact list more easily or you may want to cut down on the events you attend and really focus on those people you do meet.
1-2 points: Ask yourself this question … Why am I networking? Just getting out and meeting people is not enough, youve got to take action and do something with the people you meet. They could be potential clients, partners or be able to help you grow your business. This doesnt mean you have to follow up with everyone you meet, but if youre not following up with anyone, your time might be better spent on a different marketing activity.
So howd you do?
Id say I generally fall into the 6- to 8-point range … doing okay but definitely room for improvement.
Just remember, networking is a marketing strategy and it takes a plan like any other marketing you do. Youve got to have an objective, attend the right groups, make sure you have a great elevator pitch and follow up for it to really pay off.
About the Author:
Debbie LaChusa created The 10stepmarketing System to make marketing your own business as simple as answering 10 questions. Learn more about this unique, step-by-step system and get a free 10-Step Marketing E-Course when you subscribe to the free, weekly 10stepmarketing Ezine at http://www.10stepmarketing.com