My last post talked about creating follow up systems to make the most out of your network. Some readers wanted some more ‘meat,’ so I prepared a more detailed, step by step guide. The permutations of a follow-up plan are almost endless; this example is just meant to give you some ideas to get you started.
While at the event itself, suggest to the new contact or prospect that you would like to follow up with them to get to know them and their business better, or to discuss ways that you might be able to help them.
Enter contact information into your database as soon as possible. This should immediately trigger the first step in your follow up system. If it is an email, the basic email should be completed before you attend the event, and can be customized to the individual recipient later. Suggest that you would like to meet with this person further and suggest that you get together for coffee or lunch.
Each contact should trigger the subsequent contact. The email should trigger the second contact, for example, a follow up telephone call to schedule the coffee or lunch. If you use Outlook, you can simply drag the email to your calendar or tasks to set the reminder for the call.
During the meeting, you may identify additional action steps or ways you can help the prospect. After your meeting, send a ‘thank you’ either via email or regular mail. Confirm what you have agreed to do and schedule those action steps.
Look for ways in which you can help your prospect; then work them into your follow up system. Introduce the prospect to others in your network who might be able to help them. Send them articles, links and information about events that might be of interest to them.
Use your calendar, tasks or other diary system to continue to touch base and follow up with prospects on a regular basis. Categorize your contacts so you can easily direct relevant information and events to them.