8. Ask pre-qualifying questions
Before your try to sell someone on talking on another day, you should pre-qualify them just a bit. This is because your time is extremely valuable and you do not want to spend your time meeting with someone on another day if it would not be productive in anyway.
In order to determine that there is at least a slight chance for you to have something productive to discuss, you can ask some pre-qualifying questions to determine how well you fit together. Your questions could be designed to determine if there is a least a slight fit for the contact to either be a prospect or a referral partner.
If their answers help you to determine that there are not any synergies between you, you can then make the educated decision to pass on trying to schedule a conversation on another day.
9. Schedule a next step
If you do determine that there is a reason to talk with them in more detail, don’t hesitate for closing the next step of scheduling a follow-up meeting. And don’t be afraid to do this quickly – you could do this after only talking with someone for a few minutes.
The last thing you want to do is get into some sort of deep conversation right there at a networking event. Not only does this not allow you to get the most out of your conversation with the other person, but it also wastes valuable time that you can spend meeting other new contacts.
Here is a good way to close for the next step and cut a conversation short in a polite and professional manner.
You know, I feel like there is a lot that we can talk about and I am not sure if this is the right place. What do you think about getting together on another day where we talk in more detail?
Actually, you are asking a lot of really good questions and I don’t know if this is the right place to get into all of the details. What do you think about scheduling some time to discuss all of this in more details?
You know, I would really like to learn more about what you do and see if there might be some way that I could help you. What do you think about getting together on another day where we can discuss more what you do and what you would like to improve?
10. Send a follow-up email
Regardless of what you discuss with the contacts that you meet, send each one a follow-up email. It can be a very general email mentioning that it was nice to meet them or you can tailor your message to reflect what was discussed. If you discussed meeting again, this is a good place to bring that up and try to schedule the next conversation.
11. Connect on social media
After you send your follow-up email, try to connect with the contact on social media. LinkedIn is ideal for connecting after meeting someone during business networking, but you may also want to consider Facebook and Twitter.
12. Add to your CRM and email marketing system
Add the contact to your CRM and email marketing systems. The CRM will help you to retain the information and schedule and track your future interactions.
Using some sort of email marketing software is key here as this will allow you to broadcast out to your network on an ongoing basis and this will help you to stay fresh in your contacts’ minds so that they will think of you for either referrals or purchases.
Meeting the people is an important piece to effective networking, but keeping in touch is just as important and email marketing software will help you to do that.