You've had a successful business networking meeting. You've gathered dozens, maybe more, business cards. You remembered to make notes on the cards to remind you about the person you met. What Now?
Follow-up is important, but before you do that… you need to get organized…
1) Sort through your cards and split into 3 distinct piles; Hot, Warm and Cold…
HOT: These are the people who you have arranged to contact, either because they want information from you or you have thought of someone you can put them in touch with. They are the people you are probably more keen to create a business relationship with.
WARM: These are the people who you believe you could do business with, either selling or purchasing, in the future. But you have no strong reason to contact them immediately.
COLD: These are the people who have no direct connection with what you offer; cannot provide a service or product you need and do not easily bring to mind anyone you could connect them to.
2) Take action with the cards you've sorted:
HOT: Contact each person and arrange to meet for coffee or a more formal meeting. Or drop in with the information he/she has requested from you. Personal delivery makes a good impression.
WARM: Write a letter to each person, reminding him/her where you met and what you talked about (actually what THEY talked about). Make sure the letter talks about him/her and, if you do mention what you offer, make sure you write from their point of view and highlight the benefits your service or product provides.
COLD: There is no reason to keep these business cards – so discard them.
3) Keep a close eye on the progress you make with the contacts whose details you've decided to keep… create a chart that shows how you are developing the relationship. (see my article: Networking Meetings – Refer, Refer and Be Referred – The Referral Matrix)
©2005 Original Work by Carol Bentley
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