One of the biggest problems for business networkers is that they just don’t have an effective or meaningful way of staying in touch with people they meet. Instead, they fall into one of 5 typical stay in touch pitfalls.
When we meet another business person for the first time, we immediately start building rapport and learning a bit more about this person and their business. Invariably, business cards are exchanged and a pledge is made to stay in touch.
What follows next is usually one of the following:
We really do intend to stay in touch with the person we have met, but there are so many other priorities and matters that demand our attention. Before we know it, too much time has passed and the the trail has gone cold.
Why it doesn’t work: Your new contact may have been the very person that could have opened new doors for you and made a substantial difference to your business. By doing nothing, you are closing the door on this opportunity and handing it to your competitor instead.
We don’t really have the time to communicate individually with every person we meet, so many companies make use of newsletters instead. They believe that their new contact will appreciate the newsletter information and that an opportunity for further contact can be made as a result.
Why it doesn’t work: Very few people have time to read newsletters in the first place, and are extremely unlikely to read one from someone they have only meet for a few moments. You cannot build a personal relationship through a newsletter.
Sales reps are always hungry for business and therefore do not want to waste the opportunity of following up with new business contacts. So, they will either send you a sales focused email or call you to set up a sales presentation appointment.
Why it doesn’t work: Most of us do not appreciate getting a sales call from someone we have just had a brief interaction with. We agreed to stay in touch – not to start selling to each other. This breaks the trust and any chance of a professional relationship.
Staying in touch really does take a lot of time, even if it is just via email. A quicker alternative is to add the person’s cell number to a database and start sending brief SMS messages. This way they will be reminded of you and potentially want to take the interaction further.
Why it doesn’t work: It is just not possible to develop a meaningful relationship with anyone using brief SMS advertising. In fact, most of us do not appreciate being inundated with these messages from people we barely know. So instead of building a business relationship, we destroy it.
A popular way of connecting with people you meet is via social media. Follow, interact and share is the name of the game here. Most of us have set up profiles on the most popular social media platforms and can invite people to connect with us this way.
Why it doesn’t work: Why would a new contact want to follow you on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? There needs to be something very valuable and unusual about the way you use social media, if you want this to be a place to develop business relationships. This takes a lot of time and effort.
Business is about forming and nurturing professional relationships with people you come into contact with. It can deliver some incredible results over time, but only if you are willing to put in some effort – and stay away from the 5 pitfalls outlined above.
There is a better way of connecting with business people. You can learn more about it here ...
Show Me How!
If you are not sure how this applies to your unique circumstances or how to get started, please contact us and we will be happy to share some further thoughts with you.
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