4. Be able to clearly state what you do. Develop a ten second introduction as well as a thirty second presentation. The introduction explains what you do and for whom. For example; I work with boutique retailers to help them increase their sales and profits. This introduction should encourage the other person to ask for more information. When they do, you recite your thirty second presentation. Bob Smith of High Profile Clothing wanted a program that would help his sales managers increase their sales. After working with them for six months we achieved a 21.5 percent increase in sales. Plus, sales of their premium line of ties have doubled in this time frame. As you can see, this gives an example of your work and the typical results you have help your clients achieve. Each of these introductions needs to be well-rehearsed so you can recite them at any time and under any circumstance. You must be genuine, authentic, and as I recently heard a speaker say, bone-dry honest.
5. Follow up after the event. In my experience, most people drop the ball here. Yet the follow-up is the most important aspect of networking. There are two specific strategies to follow:
- First, immediately after the event typically the next day you should send a handwritten card to the people you met. Mention something from your conversation and express your interest to keep in contact. Always include a business card in your correspondence.
- Next, within two weeks, contact that person and arrange to meet for coffee or lunch. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about their business, the challenges they face, and how you could potentially help them. This is NOT a sales call it is a relationship building meeting.
Kelley Robertson, President of the Robertson Training Group, works with businesses to help them drive sales, increase profits and motivate their employees. Kelley is the author of Stop, Ask & Listen - How to welcome your customers and increase your sales. He can be reached at Kelley@RobertsonTrainingGroup.com or at 905-633-7750.