Nice to meet you, now what. The steps you need to take to turn those new contacts into gold.
Well done. You went out there and connected with some new people. Networking can feel daunting and you did it anyway! And, now what? What’s the secret to converting that new contact into a referral relationship or customer? Knowing what to say and how to say it without sounding cheesy can be a challenge too.
If you need to repeat it, automate it, as they say. So here’s the 6 step process I use and can recommend for you.
- Always send a quick thank you email or text the same day or the next day at the latest. This shows respect for the other person’s time by prioritizing a follow up to the conversation right away. It is more important to send this quickly, rather than for it to be a comprehensive or long email.
- Be yourself. Authenticity is always a good approach. To pretty much everything. Follow up emails are no different. Since people feel good when you listen to them, include something key you heard the contact you just met say. Use your own “voice” and keep it professional. That doesn’t mean uptight, just respectful.
- Make a positive observation about the person, company or project that this contact mentioned. Comment on how you can see this work achieving the goals or being successful. More good evidence of your effective listening skills and this creates the know, like and trust factors.
- Summarize the action items you agreed to do and include any you can in this email. If your follow up action requires more time or a separate email, outline how and when you will complete it.
- Thank your new contact for the action items they offered. Appreciation is always smart and it can be a helpful reminder to busy people who’s intentions are good and who’s schedules are full. They feel valued. More know like and trust development:-)
- Connect with your new contact on LinkedIn, Twitter and perhaps Facebook. You’re building your network and broadening that connection to social media channels is too important to miss.
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Do you have suggestions for making the follow up after making a new connection even better? Bring it! I’d love to see it, so share your comments below.