Having just come home from #WIPN2014 and having met some amazing, wonderful, driven business women I am faced with the question and task of, “How will I make the most of the connections I made and how will I follow up?” It can be overwhelming, especially since I’d been gone from my office for five days and need to play a bit of catch up.
I will caution you though, to strike while the iron is hot. When you come home from a conference or a networking event, you need to make the time to input the contacts into your content management system. Did you offer to send attendees in your session a free gift? Don’t make them wait too long for it and most importantly, don’t make them ask you for the free gift. If they have to follow up with you, then it could lead them to believe you’re not good at any kind of follow through — and that may make them not want to work with you.
Here are my tips for your #mentallyhealthymonday on how you can effect post conference follow-up:
- Set aside 15 minutes a day until you have input all of the business cards. Once they’re in, send out an “it was great to meet you” message along with any free gift you may have promised.
- If you promised to call someone you met, follow through on that and don’t let more than three days pass before you reach out. Chances are, all of the business professionals you met are busy as well, but reaching out shows your level of commitment and follow through and also allows you to set up a time to talk the following week — when you’re both more relaxed and caught up.
- Connect on social media.
- Write a blog post about what you learned at the conference
- Consider joining the organization that hosted the conference — whether it is WIPN or a local Chamber of Commerce.
- Set yourself up as an expert referral source for those you’ve met. Ask always, “How can I help you?” rather than, “Here’s what my services will do for you.” The “what your services will do for them” will come out naturally as a part of your relationship building efforts.
What do you do for post conference follow up? How do you conquer the overwhelm of it?