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What’s Big Deal about Follow-up?

You took part in networking event and you swiftly closed the conversation with magic phrase “I look forward to following up.” But what it actually means, and why it’s so important today?

You don’t have to read The McKinsey Way, “The McKinsey Mind” or “The McKinsey Engagement” to find out that simple, traditional “thank you notes” sent by McKinsey consultants to their engagements sponsors after delivering the service were the key to generate next engagements, even many years later. It appears that small acts of kindness are not forgotten and the follow up is the secret weapon of networking.

Before we got to this, let’s recapitulate on your engagement during networking event maximizing potential for successful follow-ups:

– You took some preparations and set a goal to reach to 5 most important person for you before you went to networking event,
You came first and went out last, or at least gave a try,
– You were reading peoples IDs pinned to their suites (that’s they are for!) to localize, who you were looking for, and you was doing everywhere – standing in line for food, in corridors, in exhibition sites,
– You knew what are “opening gambits” and “middle game questions” and you focused on telling how you find solutions to challenges people face,
You obviously took notes on the back side of the business cards you exchanged,
You was using “end game techniques” you was finishing up the conversations you had in 3 minutes.

Now you are ready to follow-up. Basically follow-up is getting back to the person you met using one of plenty communication channels available today, incl. social networks for professionals, like LinkedIn, sending a text message or an e-mail. The most natural communicate you could pass is thanking person for the time they found for you. Doing so you may be that you’ll do a “footprint in the contact list” of person you met, and will be within they reach the moment they may look for someone like you.

But hey, doing thanking for time people give us is so natural, that it should not be the propose of following-up. So how to make it more successful in terms value creation for the business you develop or nurture? Consider e.g.:

– Attaching link or scan of article, which may be interesting the person you write to,
– Attach link or write something you’ve heard a about the people or companies your person is aspiring to. Writing something about competitors is also not a bad idea,
Attach something funny, like comic story or mem related to the business the person you met operates in,
Attach your company’s newsletter – yes a newsletter. If you think your company is small and you haven’t been doing newsletter because of that, be convinced by the argument that there are 2- pager newsletters sent with persistence by start-ups and SMEs, which turn out to be successful. Short information about current project you are engaged in, something about success of the client you supported recently, and interview with one of your employees or partners will do it. Besides, if you want to start doing it in a big scale someday, you have to master newsletters and mass communication. If you’ll your first newsletter in personalized way and attach it to follow-up note with ask for consent for receiving the next ones – you are in,
Write something about new product to appear on the market, which may be interesting to your contact,
– Inform about an event, seminar, lecture, training – anything which may be interesting to your contact and would be natural occasion to meet again and deepen the conversation you started,
– Don’t attach everything and at once. Spare something for next, value adding follow-ups.

This is the way you turn the networking into following-up with value adding follow-ups. And if you give value first – you make them call you, not you calling them 😉

 

 

                                                       Source: www.theberry.com

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Networking for Networking Buzzword Haters

To develop your company you need more successful deals closures. You already know that marketing is not fat, but muscles, but how to generate more deals if your promotion budget is tight? The answer is networking – a buzz word, in business context shall be defined as making connections enabling building long term relations with potential of value creation.

How networking differentiates from other form of marketing communication? It doesn’t work without amino acid communication interface. In other words it’s about very direct human to human interaction.

What differentiates networking from casual chit-chats? The former gives you justification and purpose for further business relationship building with reference to the acquaintance you already made. Being not total stranger to a person you networked with increases chances for positive reply to asks you make.

So how art of the start in business networking shall look like? There different schools deepening relationships and connections making, and everyone should use what fits and works for ones best. Such toolkit can derive from e.g D. Zack “Networking for people who hate networking” combined with J. Gitomer “Sales Bible“.  Such business-networking toolkit would consist of “powerful phrase” you prepare and master upfront to the context of networking opportunity you are to join, some “opening gambits” you use to start conversation, some “middle game” questions you ask to maintain its dynamics and some “end game” techniques for conversation closing just before jumping to another one to make connections with as many people relevant for your business as possible.

O.k., so how to start, and why “powerful phrase” is so important? Ask yourself a question, if person you’ll speak is to remember only one thing from the conversation, what should it be? Powerful phrase sells your area of expertise, experience and care or someone’s business. It enables you to get information you need for successful follow-up, and it is still clear and short. You think it is impossible to prepare such a sentence?

Let’s take a look of how such a phrase could look like for somebody, who e.g. offers running fun pages of companies in professional way. Such sentence could go like this: “Hi, I’m […] from […], I support companies in running their social media in one-stop-shop way. From my experience I know how important today is to have constant, direct interaction with company stakeholders. What do you do to hear the voice of your customers?”’

Need another example? Let’s assume there is a new market entrance advisor. For him such sentence could go like this: “Hi, I’m […] from […], I support companies in setting up businesses up new places. From my experience I know that new companies don’t reach out to government incentives and tax exemptions they are entitled to. What do you do to make sure you enter new market in money-wise way?”

You have your phrase, hopefully several variants of it, and you go to a networking event. How you make the first step? Be creative! Opportunities multiply if you start looking for them. In event environment “opening gambits” apply even to standing in a line for food, e.g.:

·         Would you like to join me checking the desserts?
·         Where did they found strawberries in the middle of winter?
·         Do you know what kind of cake this is?
·         Here it is! (When passing the plate to the person right behind you)
·         Do you also would like to try this? (When choosing something for yourself)

 

You get the reply, and communication has started. How do you switch to “middle game”? Don’t forget that you are in the middle of this for business purpose, therefore what could works is:

 

·         What kind of work do you do?
·         What do you like most about your work?
·         What interesting projects are you working on?

 

Don’t forget to go here with your powerful phrase you have been working so hard.

 

At this moment you have more than more than needed to set up successful relationship building plan, and it is also very good moment to stop to leave person you have been speaking “craving for more”. So how, which “end techniques” will not make your speaker feel offended and enable you to circulate ?

 

·       Be honest and say “I promised myself that I will circulate. I’d better walk around.”
·       Appreciate time you received and say “I am sure you want to talk with others. I won’t hold you up” or “I am sure there are others who want to talk with you. I don’t want to hold them too long.”
·       Don’t end without “May I have your card?” “It’s been great meeting you”, “I enjoyed the conversation, thank you” and of course “I look forward to following up !”

 

Good networking is not about talking to someone to death, but rather about rising someone’s curiosity in clear and crispy way to get their full attention later. It will make effective usage of marketing and communication materials you can now send attached to the “Thank you note” to the person you spoke with. You know what they say – no follow up – no networking
Not to forget that it’s also about fun. Because if there is no fun, what’s the point?

 

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605095222/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1605095222&linkCode=as2&tag=dzidaconsu-20&linkId=EBC63MZILWN54QXV">Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected</a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=dzidaconsu-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1605095222" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

                                                    Source: http://www.bkconnection.com

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Szkolenie Dzida Consulting

 

„Jeśli chcesz się czegoś nauczyć, spróbuj wyjaśnić to komuś innemu. Nikt nie uczy się tyle, ile nauczyciel.”

Jest nam bardzo miło poinformować o jednym z naszych szkoleń prowadzonych w ramach Entrepreneuria Start Up Academy 2014, pt. „Zostań Spidermanem, czyli utkaj sieć kontaktów i przekuj ją w biznes” w najbliższą środę, 26.03.2014 o godz. 17.30 w Warszawie.

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