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Good networking that benefits your business isn’t just about what you do at a networking event. What you do afterwards is also important, from logging your contacts to arranging to meet up to share ideas.
This blogs lists the key things to consider doing after a networking event to help you get the most from your networking and do more for your business.
While it’s still fresh in your mind, it’s a good idea to make some notes about the event, preferably no later than the following day. This can make you really think about what you got out of it and how it can benefit you. This can include:
You should then sort through the business cards you’ve collected from people at the event. It’s a good idea to pull out those contacts you feel you could do business with.
This can be based on who you could:
Acquire profitable business from – like potential long-term clients
Collaborate with – such as single projects or potential business partners
Help develop your business – from suppliers to distributors, designers to marketers
Gain business influence – such as providing expertise and industry advice
Help with a business problem – like valuable information you could pass on or people you know
It’s a good idea to log your contacts and their details in a contacts book, or create a spreadsheet to sort them into their different categories. This can make it easy to find them quickly whenever you need them in the future.
As you log each contact, it’s a good idea to connect with them on business-relevant social networking channels, like LinkedIn and Twitter. For now, it’s best to avoid friendship sites like Facebook, which are often associated with family and friends. Connecting on these sites might seem a bit personal, overfamiliar and intrusive.
It’s also a good idea to search for your key contacts online. If they are a key figure in your industry or in the public eye, Googling their name can give you additional key information about them and their business.
You can learn about their business experience, expertise, reputation, and the latest developments in their company. It can also provide you with a good point of discussion when you get in touch with them, which is explained below.
It’s wise to follow-up with your contacts within 48 hours of attending a networking event, while you and your company are still fresh in people’s minds. If you have the time, a good way to do this is by phone call. However, it’s advisable to be clear on what you’ll say beforehand and make notes so you know what you discussed.
Sending an email instead can be more effective, as you can take more care with what you say and have a record of exchanged dialogue. To save time, it’s a good idea to put together a template email that you can amend for each contact.
You can also ask them what they thought of the event or continue your conversation from where it left off, if you can remember. For those key contacts you’ve made, it’s advisable to arrange a date to meet up. Suggesting to meet for a coffee can work well as it infers your meeting will be informal, relaxed and short.
Once an email has been sent, don’t expect to have a response right away, or at all. Be patient and just get back to focusing on your business. While some people might not get back to you, others could – leading to strong business relationships.
With networking, you don’t often know how things will turn out. But doing what you can after an event, to connect with the contacts you’ve made, can bring you profitable work and develop your company for the better.
When it comes to business development, networking has many benefits. To find out more, please read our blog about how beneficial networking is for you and your business.
At FSB, we provide services in networking that can help develop your company. This includes events with:
To learn more about how our networking services and how they can help you, please visit our FSB Connect Networking page or speak to our experienced team.
Network with other members and non members from across the UK through our National and Local networking framework