The first week in February was International Networking Week and this year’s theme was ‘Follow Up.’
I’m sure you have all heard – ‘The Fortune’s in the Follow Up’
Dr. Ivan Misner, the founder of BNI recently published a simple formula for follow up. And that is what this post is about. His formula covers 3 simple follow up strategies. 24/7/30 formula for follow up which he recommends using when you meet someone at a networking meeting – could be a prospective client, a possible referral partner, etc.
24 hours – Drop them a note within the first 24 hours. Could be a personal handwritten note or an email. Use whatever approach that works for you and that you will do consistently. Let them know it was a pleasure meeting them and you hope your paths cross again.
7 Days – Within seven days Connect with them on Social Media, i.e. LinkedIn or Facebook. Follow them on Twitter or join them on Google+. Find ways to connect and engage with them via the social -media platforms you use the most. Do not do this as a way to sell to them. Do it as a way to start establishing a meaningful connection with them.
30 days – Within 30 days reach out and set up a One-2-One meeting. If you live near each other, meet in person. If you are far away from one another, set up a meeting via Skype or Zoom or by phone.
Here’s a script that I have found to help in getting people to want to meet with me – ‘Hi Gail, your business sounds very interesting. I would love to meet you for coffee and learn more so that I can be a good referral source for you.”
Now do you think Gail is going to turn me down. No, she will be more than willing to meet because I want learn how to be a good referral source for her.
At this meeting, find out more about what they do, and look for ways to help them in some way. Don’t make it a sales call; make it a relationship-building opportunity. Think in terms of being a ‘farmer’ planting seeds that are going to mature into many referral opportunities, rather being a ‘hunter’ and bagging one prospect at a time.
By Using this 24/7/30 System to follow up, you will establish a powerful routine that will help you to make your networking efforts meaningful and successful.
Use technology (or whatever works for you) to help remind you to follow up at the appropriate intervals. After you send the first note or e-mail, set up reminders on your phone or calendar to follow up at one week and one month out.
And one last point that I would like to add to Dr. Misner’s formula, which I think is the ‘Secret Sauce’ is to ‘Keep in Touch’ In order to build that long-term relationship you have to ‘Keep in Touch.’ And a ‘Keep in Touch’ strategy can be as individual as you are, i.e. social media, email, phone calls, snail mail, etc. Whatever works for you. Just keep ‘Keep in Touch’ so that you are ‘Top of Mind’ when that person needs your services or knows someone who does.