Networking is just that – Work. Just showing up is not king to produce results. You need to have a plan and follow through with it. We have talked about follow up plans and effective follow up in previous posts. Now let’s look at what it takes to be successful in your networking so that it grows your business and increases your revenue.
The first step to networking success is to have a plan.
Who do you want to meet and where do you think you will find that type of person? Do your research. Without research you will not have networking success. Find the places that your target audience (your customers OR good referral sources) hangs out and check out the events that are held. Which events would you enjoy most? Sign up for those.
After you have located the events and signed up be sure you have a follow up plan in place. Follow up is certainly not just stuffing the business cards into a box in your drawer and it is also not just one email after the event. To follow up for success it takes a consistent plan.
To create that consistent plan you need to have a strategy in place the covers at least one year, yes, a full year. The first six weeks should be the bulk of the plan, and then there should be one or two touch points per month for the rest of the year. For example, When I come back from an event, I write a note that I mail snail mail to each of the people that I met. Sometimes it takes research to find their address as it is not on their business card and sometimes I can not find an address, those people where I have no address usually end up falling by the wayside