Networking events are a great place to meet potential clients and business contacts and if you can master the art of good networking, it can help your business thrive. The follow-up is a key part of networking because it doesn’t matter how many people you speak to on the day, those connections are worthless if they don’t lead anywhere afterward.
But what do you do if nobody is responding to your follow-up emails and they keep dodging your calls? In some cases, people are just busy and they have other things going on, so they don’t contact you again. However, if this is happening every time you go to a business event, it’s likely that you are getting something wrong. Here’s why people won’t follow up with you after networking events.
Your First Impression Wasn’t As Great As You Thought
Some people come away from an interaction thinking that it went brilliantly and they definitely have a new client. But they don’t think about how that interaction looked from the other side and, in many cases, it wasn’t as great as they thought it was. People often make the mistake of bombarding people with a sales pitch while they nod along politely until you eventually stop talking and they can leave. It might seem like they were interested but, in reality, you just didn’t give them a chance to speak. If you are having trouble making connections after networking events, think critically about the interactions you have. Is it a two-way conversation? Did you demonstrate your value in a way that wasn’t too overwhelming? Did you have a bit of general chat before launching into your sales pitch? Were you professional?
Be honest with yourself about your interactions and do what you can to improve them. These simple tips will help you get off on the right foot with people and you should notice that they are more likely to follow up afterward.
Your Business Card Was Boring
You meet a lot of people at networking events and you won’t remember every single one. When it comes to following up, people tend to go through the stack of business cards they have and contact the people that stick out to them. If you give them a boring business card that doesn’t tell them much about your business, you don’t leave much of an impression. They might not even remember their interaction with you. But if you give them an interesting card with an innovative design, it jumps out at them right away and they’re more likely to get in touch. Instead of a boring plain white card, why not use metallic business cards or something with some nice embossing instead? The more distinctive you can make it, the more likely people are to follow up. Otherwise, it will probably go straight in the bin.
You’re Talking To The Wrong People
Even if you have a great conversation with somebody, they will only follow up if they are actually interested in your business and have something to gain from working with you. People are not there to make friends, which is why it’s crucial that you have some kind of strategy when deciding who to talk to. If people are not following up, it could simply be because there is nothing to gain from the relationship, so reconsider who you are targeting. Firstly, you need to do your research into the event and see what kind of people attend. Ask yourself whether this is really the right event for you. Once you have found an event that is suitable, you then need to find out who is going. Check out the social media pages for the events to see who is attending. From there, you can start doing a bit of research and drawing up a list of people that you want to talk to. Don’t just think about what they can offer you, think about what you can offer them. When you start taking this approach, you can forge relationships that benefit both parties and people will be far more likely to follow up with you.
You Didn’t Give People Enough Time
Networking events are a good way to meet a lot of people in a short space of time. However, some people take that to mean that it’s a numbers game and you just need to hit as many people as possible with your business card. But if you just give people a sales pitch, shove a business card in their hand and then leave, they aren’t likely to follow up. It gives the impression that you are not interested in them and you are just hoping to make connections to fulfill your own goals. You will have more success if you spend a bit of time getting to know people and learning about what they want to get out of a business relationship too.
If you are making these mistakes, it’s likely that you will have a very low success rate when trying to follow up after networking events. The good news is, if you change your strategy slightly, you should notice a big difference.