To continue with this week’s topic of networking, these tips discuss steps you can take after a conference has ended and ways to ensure a positive follow up response. Additionally, the PTM Regional Managers share some networking tips they have learned over the years that have proven to be effective for them.
After a conference, the follow up is one of the most important factors when trying to generate new business. Regional Manager, David Taub, says it’s best to wait 2-3 business days after a conference to follow up with any prospects you may have met. This is because everyone, including you, is playing catch-up on the days they missed and therefore cannot devote additional time to create new professional relationships right away. To make sure that you still stick out in your prospect’s mind days after a conference, always write down one personal or professional topic the two of you spoke about on their business card that you can mention again when you call them. This brings up another important tip, which is making sure that you call first. You can and should always follow up with an email, but calling a prospect gives you an advantage over the people who solely email and may never get a response back. Additionally, try and connect with prospects on LinkedIn, or see if you have any shared connections or group between the two of you. This can bring up another topic to discuss if you feel that your personal anecdote isn’t enough.Tips learned from conferences: PTM Regional Managers shared great networking tips to follow/not follow that they have seen throughout the years at conferences.
Scott Johnson stated that “you never want to be the person in the room just collecting business cards trying to meet everybody. Everyone is trying to create relationships that can move their business forward, and people recognize when someone is not being sincere and are only interested in themselves and their company”. A great networker is someone that can establish genuine connections and build relationships without having to constantly push their product. It is better to establish five valuable and genuine relationships than trade 20 business cards without creating engaging in genuine conversation with the people you met.
David Taub recommended that if you attend a conference alone, which is very likely, it is important that you have no qualms about speaking to competitors, alliance partners, and prospects. This may take you out of your comfort zone, but keep in mind that most people attending conferences are either alone or with one or two other employees, so they are most likely feeling the same way as you.
Ken Spitzer discovered that the best networking opportunities often occur at the optional events. Dinners, golf games, fishing activities, etc. are a great time to get to know people on a personal level and build the relationship from there. People will most likely remember the conversation they had with you about your shared love of rock climbing a lot more easily than the 5 minute pitch you gave about your company through the midst of the chaos during an event.