Let’s face it, if you aren’t following up with people you meet, then you’re wasting your time. Does this sound like you? Keep it simple and follow what I call the ’24-hour rule’. Within 24 hours of meeting someone new, do these two things:
1. Send them a brief email referring to something that you learned about them. Suggest you would like to continue the conversation, when are they available to meet for coffee?
2. Invite them to join your LinkedIn network. (LinkedIn is the easiest way to keep in touch and keep track of your contacts.)
Just try those two things following your next networking event.
The networking ninja arrives early at the event, enters the room, looks for people they don’t know and goes right up and introduces them self They ask a question like “What brings you to this event?” Followed by, “How long have you been coming to these events?” “What value do you find by coming here?” “What other events do you attend and why?” This gets the conversation started.
From there, the other person will likely ask similar questions. So the networking ninja has their story short and succinct What they do (not their job title), where they do it, and what value if brings their clients. Then the networking ninja makes some notes and follows up with this new contact within 24 hours. The ninja searches for them on LinkedIn and sends them an invitation to join their network. Then the ninja sends them a direct email referencing something they learned at the event, with an invitation to meet for coffee. The word ‘when’ and not ‘if is used. The networking ninja has learned that a natural and genuine approach to meeting for the first time always works best.
You too can become a networking ninja.
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If you are a lawyer just starting out with business development, or already engaged and looking to up your game, this book is your practical, step-by-step guide to follow in order to achieve your goals.
In following-up with your leads or prospects, always put yourself in their shoes. How can you add value? Why should they meet with you? What’s in it for them? If you take the ask and offer approach, you can answer those questions.
It begins with asking them how you can help? Is there some education you could provide their team in the form of a seminar? Then all you have to do is offer it to them. This is all part of taking the value-add approach to building relationships.
After giving my standard advice on what and how to prepare for a networking opportunity, today, one of my clients taught me something. I think it’s brilliant, so I want to share it with you.
This particular event was a ‘meet and greet’ with another law firm.
This is what he did.
He went to the website of that firm and identified the lawyers he wanted to meet (as per my standard advice). Then he took my advice to the next level. He emailed the profiles and pictures of those lawyers to himself. During the event, he went to his blackberry to reference who he was to target. Then he met exactly who he was targeting.
On the way home from the event, he sent follow-up emails to the people he met, (also as per my standard advice).
Result: A lunch meeting between the two firms to see how they can do business together.
Before, during and after, Blackberry and networking.
Whether it’s another law firm or not, this is a great way to set yourself up for success when meeting new contacts.
Thank you to a partner in Toronto for this.