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The Art of Professional Networking (Part 3)

Meet with client -1526948531399-320e7e40f0ca

After the event – The follow-up!

You secured great connections with prospective clients at an event. They shared an interest in your offering and they gave you their business card. Now what?

After each event, take the time to review the business cards and replay the conversations that you had with the individual contacts. What was discussed? Did they invite you to contact them?

Your Prospects – Learn more about them!

Take the time to learn as much as you can about them professionally (i.e their current employment situation, their professional background) or learn more information about their company and industry.

Are they on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook? When you decide to connect with them here, forgo the generic greeting that may be suggested – make the effort and personalize each message. Mention how nice it was to meet them at the event and recount the reason for your follow up. If there is a positive reciprocal connection, invite them for a coffee at a convenient location or at their work environment to explore how you can work together

If they are not on the internet, perhaps you can send them a friendly email or make a phone call. Don’t forget to smile if you call. You will sound more positive and welcoming.

Be Prepared. Do your homework prior to the meeting.

Before your meeting, be prepared. Do your homework and brush up on any information that would interest your prospective client. Prepare a list of questions that would be pertinent to your upcoming meeting. This will help the conversation flow more naturally and show your genuine interest in the person and their needs.

Always arrive a few minutes early. Smile and have your notepad ready to review your list of questions. Listen carefully to your client. Be aware of their choice of words and observe their body language. Often, unspoken words say more! Is there a personal and professional fit? Is the timing right to explore a formal business relationship? If timing is not ideal or the fit doesn’t seem right, thank your contact for their time, and leave with a positive attitude. Even if they may not require your services at this time, they may in the future or may refer you to someone who does.

If the meeting went well and the client requests a formal offering in writing, commit to a timeline and submit your proposal as requested! Congratulations! You have a new client!

Remember, it takes time to build a professional relationship. Sometimes, it may take 3 to 5 face-to-face interactions, before someone feels confident that they want to work with you. 

Goal: Make the effort to meet new people. Listen and observe. Explore avenues on how you can work together that is beneficial to both parties. Whenever there is a win-win situation, the relationship is usually stronger and more profitable. In the end, they can refer you to a contact that might benefit from your services too.

If you are interested in being coached by someone who has networked over the last 25 years, please contact me at 514-839-0505 or zita@izita.ca. It will be my pleasure to assist you in the next leg of your journey.