One of the biggest areas people struggle with networking and making decent connections is the FOLLOW UP. Specifically, what do you do after meeting someone to ‘meaningfully keep in touch’ so they remember you? There are so many ways to maintain contact – email, social media, phone, face to face, regular mail, online networks etc. But your worst approach is to do too much or too little of the wrong kind of ‘touch’.
There are rules that govern what makes your efforts ‘land favorably’. Few people know these rules. Few think about them. You just write, click send and hope. But you can do better then that. When you obey these rules of meaningful follow up contact, you’ll nudge conversations forward, build your profile and sell more of your products, services and ideas.
Here are the three golden networking follow up rules for staying on the radar:
1. ETA. No, not ‘estimated time of arrival, but a reminder to make anything you send them ‘Easy To Assimilate’. That means no long emails, no sales brochures (unless they ask for it) and no links unless you have to. Any communication should be easy to read (five sentences or less) and quick to action.
EXTRA TIP: The wonderful US sales expert Jeff Molander, who I interviewed recently for our Networking Giants Radio Show has a fab ‘phrase that pays’ when it comes to reaching out meaningfully. He says ‘make it brief, blunt and basic.’ If you can provoke and arouse curiosity, you’ve got a chance to cut through and make an impact.
For the other two golden rules, including two brilliant ‘killer scripts’ to position yourself as somebody people will want to hear from, just give us a quick share to unlock:
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2. RAV. That’s ‘Relevant and Valuable’. To prevent any deletes, unsubscribes or even complaints, reach out with stuff that’s helpful. That means know their world, their challenges, their responsibilities. What’s important to them will ‘land’ favorably. So ‘just checking in’ or ‘nice to meet you’ is not enough. Share a quote, a stat, an article, an introduction, a resource or some insight that could help them. The more personalised the better.
EXTRA TIP: There are some great CRM platforms out there that flag up people’s interests and social media activity. Great for research. For a really important contact or company, set up a ‘Google alert’. These flag up any word or phrase that appears on the internet. I once noticed a prospect had won an award before they did using an alert. They were amazed when I called them with congratulations!
3. PTE. This has two practical applications. First, ‘Play To Ego’. Anything you can do to make them feel or look good will work. Compliments, encouragement, shout-outs and mentions on social media all work well. Plus endorsements or recommendations on LinkedIn or maybe a testimonial. Second, ‘Permission To Explore’. This is a polite ‘is it okay if we keep in touch?’ type approach. You want to develop the relationship. Find out more about them and their business. Keep the comm lines open.
EXTRA TIP: My friend Lynne Waymon, CEO of Contacts Count and author of the fab book Strategic Connections, uses this killer phrase, which I love: ‘We’d like to become known to you as a resource for … ‘ You can see what an impact this might have. I use this script a lot: ‘If I come across useful stuff on [burning topic for them], I’ll make sure you see it.’
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