After you have introduced your conversation partner Jane to Mary who was wrapping it up with Kim, you are about to leave Jane and Mary to meet someone new. Wait a minute, it is even easier than that – someone new is right in front of you – it is Kim, Mary’s conversation partner who is also available to talk with someone new now!
There could be another scenario – Jane and Mary could include Kim into their conversation. Just tell Jane that you will call her, smile and walk away. You have done your job as an introducer, you let Mary know why you wanted her to meet Jane – your explanation made everyone comfortable.
Networking is not handing out business cards. Networking is introductions. Networking is learning about people and introducing them to other people. You are the link, that is the work. Without you they won’t know each other. Their gratitude to you is repaid in connections and referrals.
One way you get business out of all of this is you tell them Problem-Action-Results story and they might relate to it and say ‘I need that now’. Listen to them and smile. When they finish ask them if next morning would be good time to call for an appointment. It is easy when they are magnetically attracted. They will choose you instead of you prospecting them.
Another way you get business is – they will remember your Problem-Action-Results story and when they have a client with the same problem they will say ‘I know exactly who you need to talk to…’ And because you kept in touch they will bring that ready client right to you. Wendy Kinney calls this ‘happy, happy, joy, joy networking. It’s a waste of time with a glass of wine.
When you are back home take those business cards with your notes on them and do exactly what you told those people you would do. You have to follow up so they remember you and know that they can rely on you when they refer a client. It is much easier to just put business cards into to-do pile and start checking e-mail and voice mail.
Not following up is often the only reason networking is not profitable. It is essential when you plan to go to a networking event to block time the next day to follow up. That is how you know to offer a call for an appointment next morning. The next thing you do is schedule your next networking event. That is right – rinse and repeat!