Do you have a stack of business cards you’ve collected from various networking meetings? Maybe you have several stacks …

Have you followed up with these new contacts?

Some people are better at following up than others. But most of us, get stuck with the “I meant to follow up but got busy” excuse.

If your primary role with your company is sales, then you have processes in place to ensure you follow up with new contacts. But what if selling isn’t your primary role but a part of your responsibilities. For example, a business owner.

By not following up are you missing opportunities?

It takes anywhere from six to eight touches before someone remembers what you do. “Touches” can be a meeting, phone call, email, or anything which puts you front of mind with your new connection.

But remember this touch needs to be of value to your new connection. Do NOT make it salesy or you will lose that connection. Always put yourself in the other person’s situation and figure out what information will be helpful for them.

Depending on your industry, figure out how much time to leave between each touch. If you’re looking to develop a long-term relationship, try one week between the first and second touch then adjust for every two weeks. After the fourth touch, extend to every three to four weeks.

Here are some helpful hints to help you follow-up:

When attending networking events target meeting quality connections instead of collecting a lot of business cards. This action will help you control your stack of business cards.

After meeting a new contact, write down the date and event you met them on the back of their card. This action will help you know when to reach out again.

Block off time after each networking event to connect with new contacts via LinkedIn. This action can be counted as a touch since you’re putting yourself in front of this new connection.

Within a week of meeting a new contact, reach out to them for coffee or invite them to an event. But before doing this action make sure you’ve identified helpful information for this new connection.

If you’re taking time to network, then make time to follow up with new connections. Following up and building new relationships can be uncomfortable if you haven’t done it in a while. Be patient with yourself and remember the other person is probably going through the same struggles as you are. Stay PEF (positive, enthused, focused) and make 2017 your best year ever!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”