pro tip

always follow up

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

I will let you in on a little secret. Networking can virtually occur in any settings. But networking might not be the most important part of making contacts, my friends, it is essential to always follow up. An initial contact is great, but you aren’t really networking if the relationship does not continue. To achieve success in your networking efforts, it is vital to follow up.

You want to cultivate those relationships and the solution isn’t more networking, but rather spending more time networking with a follow up system in place. Honestly, your business or career may even depend on it. Let me fill you in on a few best practices.

Take notes

More than likely, you exchanged business cards, if not get in the habit of doing that. At the very least get their business card. Immediately after the event, jot down a few quick notes about the people you met. I write these directly on their business card. It’s important to do this shortly after the event so the conversation is still fresh in your mind.

Send an email 24 hours after meeting

When sending your first email, you want to demonstrate that you are thoughtful, reliable, and consistent. Just like you put the effort in to make a good impression at the event, continue to do that in your email. Of course, make sure there are no typos, spelling errors or run-on sentences. Sharing useful data, offering further help and focusing on the receipt of the email are all things to keep in mind when writing this exchange.

Connect on Social Media

The next step is to connect with the person on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or follow their blog. Once I am connected with someone on LinkedIn or Twitter, for example, I am less likely to lose touch with them and they will be reminded of me every time I post something. Plus, both are excellent tools for remaining “top of mind” with people in your extended network.

Follow-Up & Add Value

The hardest part about following up with people who you still don’t know that well is finding excuse for contacting that person without sounding like a car salesman. When you follow up with your contact, add value to your outreach.  A few ways to do this could consist of sending an information article, making an introduction or inviting them to an event. Again, it’s hard to make these follow up connections but know that everyone is in the same boat. Here’s another useful article about adding value from the NYTimes.

Keep these things in mind next time you are next working and following up with those connections!

networking

here are some tips, that actually work

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

With networking you have to go from awkward to awesome. I don’t know anyone who actually likes networking, but it’s something we all need to do. Here are a few tips and tricks when it comes to networking. Here are a few networking tips from Entrepreneur and a few more, too.

1. Be on time, better yet arrive early-  Showing up early at a networking event is a much better strategy than getting there on the later side. As a first attendee, you’ll notice that it’s calmer and quieter – and people won’t have settled into groups yet. It’s easier to find other people who don’t have conversation partners yet.

2. Ask easy questions. Don’t wait around the edges of the room, waiting for someone to approach you. To get the conversation started, simply walk up to a person or a group, and say, “May I join you” or “What brings you to this event?” Don’t forget to listen intently to their replies. If you’re not a natural extrovert, you’re probably a very good listener – and listening can be an excellent way to get to know a person.

3. Ditch the sales pitch. Remember, networking is all about relationship building. Keep your exchange fun, light and informal – you don’t need to do the hard sell within minutes of meeting a person. The idea is to get the conversation started. People are more apt to do business with – or partner with – people whose company they enjoy.

If a potential customer does ask you about your product or service, be ready with an easy description of your company. Before the event, create a mental list of recent accomplishments, such as a new client you’ve landed or project you’ve completed. That way, you can easily pull an item off that list and into the conversation.

4. Share your passion. Win people over with your enthusiasm for your product or service. Leave a lasting impression by telling a story about why you were inspired to create your company. Talking about what you enjoy is often contagious, too. When you get other people to share their passion, it creates a memorable two-way conversation.

5. Smile. It’s a simple – but often overlooked – rule of engagement. By smiling, you’ll put your nervous self at ease, and you’ll also come across as warm and inviting to others. Remember to smile before you enter the room, or before you start your next conversation. And if you’re really dreading the event? Check the negative attitude at the door.

6. Don’t hijack the conversation. Some people who dislike networking may overcompensate by commandeering the discussion. Don’t forget: The most successful networkers (think of those you’ve met) are good at making other people feel special. Look people in the eye, repeat their name, listen to what they have to say, and suggest topics that are easy to discuss. Be a conversationalist, not a talker.

7. Remember to follow up. It’s often said that networking is where the conversation begins, not ends. If you’ve had a great exchange, ask your conversation partner the best way to stay in touch. Some people like email or phone; others prefer social networks like LinkedIn. Get in touch within 48 hours of the event to show you’re interested and available, and reference something you discussed, so your contact remembers you.