Many people struggle with how to continue the conversation when the networking event is over. If you are contemplating reconnecting, you are thinking in the right direction. The worst thing you can do is to forget the people you met at any event; you never know when they could have had the referral that would revolutionize your business.
The quickest and easiest way to connect is through email. Sending a personalized note that mentions something you talked about during your in-person interaction does the trick. If they mentioned a certain interest or business problem, think about it and offer recommendations or propose a solution. This shows that you were listening and would like to further develop a relationship.
If you want to take your personalization to the next level, send a handwritten card. A physical note speaks wonders. It shows that you took the time to write it out and send it out. It is fun to add details that you might not be able to in an email.
Another great way to touch base is through the telephone. Calling someone and giving them a warm greeting is great. Not only can you express your thoughts sincerely, it opens up the door for immediate conversation that does not happen through email or note.
The experts say that everyone prefers to be contacted in different ways; some love email, some love notes, others calls. The main moral of the story is that there is no right way to follow up, just that you do. When you follow-up, be sure it is in a manner in which you feel the most comfortable and genuine.
Have a Heart, Give Back
Small business owners are more in-sync with the community than most. Their local roots and small client base allows them to meander through their community often. In order for a small business to succeed, owners must be great at networking and garner referrals. In a way they have a responsibility to improve the quality of their community through community giving.
Some networking groups, like PNG, invite their members to participate in community events. An example would be their Annual Golf Scramble. This event invites entrepreneurs to sign-up and play in a golf tournament. All funds raised go toward non-profit organizations throughout the community. This year the funds went to SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide.
Another great way to become involved in the community is to donate services or products to various school and non-profit groups. Participating in service activities is also good. There are many ways to help out with clean up initiatives or organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
By prioritizing community giving, small business owners establish a reputation around town as caring and willing to share success. When a small business focuses their attention on people, rather than just sales, they see true accomplishment.
Talk Your Way From A Red Paperclip to A House
It is truly amazing what some people can do with their gift of gab. Today we rediscovered Kyle’s story. If you are not familiar with the man who managed to trade a single red paperclip for a house, you are missing out. Check out the story on his blog: http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/
Kyle’s journey reminds us about the importance of networking. Developing relationships can take your small business from nothing to extraordinary in no time. What Kyle understood that some of us don’t is how to utilize genuine personality, marketing, community involvement and take action.
The red paperclip has become representative of a small idea transforming into something big. The beginning of the project began by optimizing resources. All Kyle had was a blog and the power of social media. By engaging people with his mission, he started trading the paperclip for a pen and that for a doorknob. He knew how to communicate people to reach his goals. Once he achieved his goal of receiving a house, Kyle donated it to the community. Giving back to the people who helped you realize your ideas is essential to staying genuine.
Kyle’s story is inspirational for anybody, especially aspiring entrepreneurs. If you are passionate about an idea, take it to the next level. Taking on any endeavor is hard, but as long as you stay true to your goals and stay motivated, you can thrive.