The Art of Appreciation in Follow Up | Increase Effectiveness of Relationship Business Networking
Think about that moment of connection that happens when you receive something or are shown a bit of gratitude through sincere words that fills your heart just a little.
That moment of sparkle when you realize someone is complimenting you on something by sending you that thank you note or small compliment of your blouse?
That feeling is something you can create for others as well. That feeling that you can create on others can then deepen that relationship with them.
One of our local ladies who owns a soap making biz, Julie DuVall owner of The Cottage at Sunny Gap, is a great local example of deepening relationships for building her business. Not only does she hug your neck with a great big bear hug, she’s consistently giving away little pieces of her expertise. It not a ton but it’s just right to make you feel special, loved, and appreciated!
And why in the world would you want to do that? Giving away pieces of your creation or sharing your own knowledge pro bono? Deepen a relationship with a possible business connection?
We all know what it’s like to go to networking events and leave with a stack of business cards and go home with the intention of sending a follow up email stating “It was so nice meeting you today. I’d love to get together and share with you what I do and how I can be of service to you or your clients.”
I get it, that’s a very GENERAL statement. Maybe you’ll add in “I’m excited” or “Hope you and your family have a great weekend!” Or if you actually listened during the conversation you may add in “I know your pitch to XYZ company is going to go well!”
But really, what is the driver of the furtherance of that conversation with those canned responses? Where’s your call to action? How did you make them fell AT the event and then IN your follow up email.
So here’s a few tips for you to take with you to your next networking event to deepen those conversations and start the process to deepening your business relationships
Introduce yourself, shake their hand, look them in the eye & smile.
All at the same time. It may seem as if it should choreographed but with practice it will come naturally! Seriously tho, find a girlfriend and practice that handshake. And make sure it’s not limp, but nice and firm, warm and welcoming.
Commit their name to memory by repeating their name back.
I take this even further by trying to spell it. And it may be corny, but I do a little fist bump and congratulate myself in front of them when I get it right. Haha!
Ask what they are excited about or a challenge they are working on currently.
But seriously listen. Because this is the part of the conversation where your value or memory will come into play later. If they trust you enough to open up and tell you what they are excited about or challenged with, it's your responsibility to actually be involved in that moment of vulnerability. Show empathy, excitement, or maybe even a connection that could help them with the challenge.
Exchange business cards before you end your conversation
Feel free to make a few notes on the card itself. A few key words that will help you jog your memory about your conversation. You might even use talk to text on your phone and put a couple of keywords or bits of the convo into the notes app on your phone.
If you complete the process here...you’ll never make it anywhere.
This last step is a most crucial step.
By text, Facebook messenger, email, SOMETHING. You must your name back in front of them and express genuine interest in who they are as a person or their challenge they shared with you. This is the center point of your Relationship Business Networking. This is the seed to your deepening relationship with this business contact.
ADDED VALUE FOLLOW UP
It doesn't have to be a fancy, stand out, super big type of follow up. The appreciation part of your interaction with them comes from the little things like listening, following up, and continued communication. ~AND~ let's take it a bit deeper - MAIL *Snail Mail* them a Thank you note for taking time to chat with you. Letting them know you look forward to connecting again.
Nothing outrageous, but means the world :D
If you don’t follow up and then follow through - it's a waste of your precious time, energy, & brain space. We will never get that back to do something you love. Like spending time with family or hugging our friends. Please commit to yourself before you go into an event to deepen the relationships you want to build by listening to their heart and follow up to build that business relationship.
There’s so much more to this. This is where so many well meaning business owners or business professionals fail in their business and relationship networking. And trust me, I’m talking about myself here. It’s really easy to fall into the habit of dreaming of following up but never executing on it.
What process do you have in place to help you follow through?
Soon we will cover the topic of CRMs (Client Relationship Management) to help you organize and actually use those connections!
Connect. Encourage. Inspire.