Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Developing Face-to-Face Networking Skills :: Idea #7

One event = one email, one note, one call.

Have you ever heard the lament, "I go to a lot of events but never seem to do anything with all of the people I meet."? It makes a lot of sense that most of us are not getting any relationship mileage from the people we're meeting. After the event is over we're burdened with this giant stack of business cards, a few crisp memories, and a bunch of fuzzy ones. Looking at the stack of cards we're overwhelmed with what comes next... Here is an idea for getting something from your efforts.

Sort through the stack of business cards and select three. Hang on to those three cards and toss the rest into a corner to gather dust (or hand them off to get entered in a database or whatever -- just get them off your desk).

Grab your keyboard and open a new email, address it to one of the people from your three cards. Tell him/her it was great to hook up with them, offer to meet him/her for coffee one morning to learn more about their business. Number one is done.

Now, reach into your desk and grab a personalized note card and envelope. To the person on the second business card write a two line message... (great to meet you... best of success to you... if I can be of any help, etc.). Sign it, put your business card inside the note, address the envelope, put it in the mail. Number two is done.

Finally, grab your phone and dial the person on the last business card. Whether you reach them directly or are jumped to voicemail, tell him/her it was great to meet and that you'd love to get together for lunch to learn more about their business. Number three is done. Now move on with your life.

This idea works because you begin by acknowledging you only have time for a few people you meet, not all of them. If you work these ideas you'll find that over time this small effort will harvest great attention and strong relationships.