5 Follow-Up Tips with Networking Contacts
So you’ve joined the Chamber of Commerce or some other influential business meet-up group in your community. You’ve attended the breakfasts, the networking events, and the cookouts. You’ve made contact with several people, but it seems like none of them ever buy insurance from you. What are you doing wrong?
First, remove that question from your mental queue. You’re not doing anything “wrong.” You just may not be going far enough after that initial contact. That’s why we’ve put together these follow-up tips for what to do after you’ve touched base and introduced yourself. Let’s roll!
1. Follow them on social media.
As with your average insurance lead, it can take multiple “touches” before you see any kind of results. For Internet leads, the average seems to be around seven “touches” before action is taken. A touch can be an email, a phone call, your initial and subsequent in-person meetings. It’s basically the equivalent of refreshing a news page on your Internet browser. Do it enough, and you’ll get new content. Following that same line of thought, you should look at this as a long game. Instead of dwelling on what you “did wrong,” you should instead be asking what to do next. In this case, finding them on Facebook or Twitter can be a good idea. You don’t have to follow them on both — could seem a little desperate — but you should follow them on the platform they seem to use more.
2. Send a quick ‘thank you.’
If your networking connection took time out of an event to converse with you, that’s worthy of a thank-you. After all, they could have been networking with dozens of other people, but chose to share some of their time talking to you. Quite an honor! If you’ve connected with them via Facebook, feel free to send them a private message with a quick “thanks” (albeit more specific). Better yet, if you have their most frequently used email address, fire off a quick note to them that way. (Email is more valuable of a connection.)
3. Connect on LinkedIn.
People tend to wear a different cap when they’re using LinkedIn than when they’re using, say, Twitter. With this platform, the expectation is this: business contacts. You all know why you’re there and so there is no real beating around the bush. And what is great about a LinkedIn connection is that once you make contact on the platform, you get to see other business contacts of that individual. It’s a nice way to hook up with connectors and even potential prospects quickly.
4. Become a customer (when you can).
If you’ve connected with a business owner, as is often the case via groups like the Chamber of Commerce, then you can start channeling some of the business you would ordinarily be buying anyway towards your contact. By becoming a customer — whenever possible — you give value to that contact without asking anything in return. Whenever they come up for a renewal or have a need for additional insurance, that’s something they’re likely to remember.
5. Journal your results.
While this doesn’t involve direct contact with your networking group, it does allow you to reflect and build on what you’ve done so far. By sitting down at the end of a day or week and recalling the connections you’ve made or nurtured or failed to nurture, you can get a sense of what needs to be done next to deepen that networking relationship.
Essentially, networking is only effective the more you do it; and so it may seem like you’re always networking. That’s good. You want to not only meet as many people beneficial to your business goals as possible, but also build relationships, which can be the most valuable “wins” of all the further you go into your business. What is one thing that you swear by doing after you’ve made a new contact? Share your experiences in the comments section below!