The $35,000 Box of Brownies…

Cecily, one of SendOutCards customers, sells radio advertising for a local group of stations. A while back she called on the director of marketing for a large local upscale furniture store. The woman told her not to waste her time because this store had never done any radio advertising and had no plans to do any in the future.
Cecily thanked her for her time, went back to her office and sent her a thank you card with a box of brownies. She wasn’t expecting anything in return… in fact, the woman was so adamant about them not using radio that Cecily believed her 100%… nothing there.She sent the card and brownies because something about the woman struck a chord with her… she like her a lot and decided she was someone she’d like to keep in touch with.Fast forward a few months…

Cecily gets a call one day from this woman. It seems that there was a change of direction and they had decided to do some radio.

They selected Cecily because… get this… SHE WAS THE ONLY SALES REP WHO HAD ACTUALLY FOLLOWED UP WITH THE WOMAN!

Everyone else wrote it off as an account that was never going to buy… but they did buy! During their phone conversation the woman told Cecily they had decided on a test run of $35,000 and would be delighted if she could stop by as soon as possible with the contract.

How many opportunities like this are people walking past every day? A LOT.

Networking Aerobics: 3. Things Not to Bring and Not to Do

The fortune is in the follow up. I am pretty sure you have heard that. May times.

Here is one really smart way Wendy Kinney uses (I will too, now that I see the brilliant logic of it) to create a follow up sequence.

Yes, this is about what to do and what not to do at a networking event.

Do not bring any stuff. Like brochures about your business and other expensive marketing materials.

You don’t want to see them in trash cans later, do you?

Unless people at the event have an easy way to carry your stuff around, that is exactly where your stuff is going to end up.

Or left on a table, or folded in a pocket.

Here is the catch – listen carefully – not bringing stuff gives you a reason to follow up. Instead of asking people to take flyers off your hands, offer to mail a flyer to them. The ones who are really interested will say yes.

When I saw this in ‘Networking Aerobics’ by Wendy Kinney (look for it in Books on the right, if you are curious), I remembered – that is exactly what happened to me last week at East Andrews MeetUp! I did not bring samples of my greeting cards with me, so I kept offering to mail a card to those I had conversations with – I got about 10 mailing addresses and I mailed them personalized ‘Nice to Meet You’ cards.

Now I can call and offer them to see how I did that. And that is exactly my goal in meeting those people – so I can get together with them and show them what I’ve got. Mission accomplished.

Another thing that you do not bring is your phone. When it rings you answer. The other person thinks about something else. You are busy talking on the phone. When you are done there is no time/topic to continue talking about, it was lost because of the call. Why exactly you are at a networking event? To meet new people and get them to know you and like you, right? Can you accomplish that if you are busy talking on the phone? Well, leave it in the vehicle.

The most important thing to understand and remember about attracting new business by referrals through networking is this: no one is going to buy anything from you at this networking event.

The reason for that is – for every 10 people you meet, 8 will need a minimum of five (5) contacts with you before they decide to buy from you or refer to you. When you meet people for the first time, it is just like cold calling – it works 1% of the time. 80% of the time people will need five or more contacts before they make a decision to buy from you.

The good news is that 48% of your competition will never make a second contact. 25% of your competitors will reach out for a second touch. So if you reach out three times you’ve reduced your competition by 73%. Seventeen percent of people in your industry will follow up three times and then quit because they don’t want to seem too pushy. 80% of all sales happen after the  5th contact.

48+25+17=90

When you contact them a 4th time you leave 90% of your competitors behind. If 80% of your prospects buy after five contacts, 90% of your competitors stop at three, the fortune is definitely in the follow up. All you have to do is stay in touch and you’ll get the business. Do you get now why you should leave your phone in the car?

Because networking event is just the first contact. You are there to meet people; they are not going to buy from you anyway. You want to get their card (with mailing address in my case – they’ve got to see my greeting cards in their mailboxes!) and follow up.

You want them to remember you and know that you like them.