Follow-up is not rocket science. You follow up with people you want to know better. Maybe you can use their services. Maybe they can use your services. Maybe they’ll be good strategic partners. Maybe your clients could use their services or products. Maybe you want to conduct a teleseminar with them. Most important is that you feel that knowing them will add value to your life.
Next, make the call or send the email then follow up with a call. Be honest. “I’d like to meet with you because I think we have similar clients and I’d like to get to know you better”. OR “I’d like to meet with you because your “product/service” really sounded interesting”. OR “I’d like to learn more about you and your business”. OR “I heard you say “______” and I think I can help you with that”. OR “I’d like to meet with you because I want to become part of your affiliate program” — that’s honest.
Never say “I want to meet with you because I have something to sell you”. Never lie either.
Never follow up by adding someone to your mailing list, forcing them to unsubscribe. That’s called spamming someone and chances are they’ll tell you to go to hell (in one way or another) — should you spam them and then ask them to meet with you.
Call people within 2 days of connecting with them; you’ll have a better chance of being remembered.
Write a calling script and use it. This way if the script works as you want — great. If it doesn’t you’ll have a script to critique.
Who to follow up with?
When someone gives you their business card or permission to contact them. Could be at a networking event, class, “whatever”.
How To follow up
Coffee is the least expensive way to meet others but make it a quiet coffee shop. OR take coffee to a park or other quiet place. Note the word — quiet space. There is nothing worse than going into a busy coffee shop where you have no privacy AND having to shout so that your guest hears you.
Breakfast for night owls is a pain, however, if you’re buying it’s less expensive than most meals. Dinner of course is the most expensive. You can also take someone to a networking event with you and then talk. See what works best for you and them; always look for a win-win.
Old fashioned or NOT?
I’m old fashioned and the etiquette rule is that the person who invites — pays.
So, when I’m unable to do that or don’t want to; I say something like — happy hour is from 5-7 pm and if you’d like to join me, drinks are 1/2 price at that time. OR lunch is much more affordable after 1 pm how about going Dutch?
LinkedIn is a social networking platform. Follow-up with people the same as you would in at person events. But instead of coffee, you meet virtually…over SKYPE, FaceTime, or the phone.
When someone contacts you to connect with you, follow up with them.
Personally, I consider a request to connect as a networking opportunity. I send the person a request to learn more about their firm. If they don’t want to talk, I don’t add them as a connection. I prefer quality to quantity.
P.S. Always follow up with someone after receiving a lead. Let the person who referred you know how the intro worked or if it was wrong for you. Why? Only one reason. You want to teach them how to be better referrals of your services or products in the future.
(c) 2007, Updated 2017 Elevating Your Business, Maria Marsala, Strategic Business Coach