Second Small Thing
Follow up within 24 hours to create Permanent relationships. Some years ago, I met Malcolm Gladwell, the noted author. I came up to him after a speech and commented in a personal way on how I enjoyed his analytical way of looking at life. He pulled out his business card and extended it to me. Within 24 hours, I had done some research on Malcolm’s early life (did you know he was one of the best high school long-distance runners in the history of Canada?), and followed up with a personal note to him. It has triggered what is now a four year warm and friendly email dialog on a variety of subjects.
When you go to a conference or event, collect those business cards and more importantly follow up with those new acquaintances with a Facebook friends request, an add to Google Circles or a LinkedIn request WITHIN 24 HOURS. Also – remember it is not the number of business cards you pass out at an event that is important. Rather – it is the number of business cards you collect that is.
Networking expert Liz Lynch once said:
“Ninety-seven percent of people who ask for my card never do anything with it. So if you want to push the relationship forward, YOU have to take the action. For me, a follow-up email … is one of my favorite ways to rekindle the conversation.”
Some people fear follow up because they don’t want to appear pushy. The antidote for that is simply this. Networking is more about giving than getting. Find a way to be of assistance to them.
I like it when people come to my speeches and then follow up with a personal note or connection request and say something like:
“Dave- I heard you discuss four ways to build a great company. Thought you would like to be introduced to my friend Carol who built a great company.”
Other ways to make yourself memorable would be to send them an informative article or book, suggest an event the person might like to attend, or mention that person or their works on your own blog, LinkedIn comment or Facebook post.
But to me – the most important part is the immediacy of the follow up. Be part of the 5% that take the time to connect with someone within 24 hours in order to solidify your new business contact.
TO BE CONTINUED…