Some people just have the habit of giving their business card to anyone they meet in a social gathering. This is not among the most prudent practices. The fact is that you should give your business card to someone only when you have a conversation with the person and that person will be interested to follow up.
Here are some important tips to improve your business networking:
Step # 1 – Use the verbal business card before the printed business card
It is better that you introduce you and your business verbally when you start the business conversation with someone. This will act as an elevator speech which will generate interest. In this verbal introduction you should focus on the problems which your prospect is facing and the solution which can offer to the prospect.
Let us take an example of an estate lawyer. Perhaps the best line for him to introduce himself will be “I protect your life savings by generating secure tax and estate structure for you.”
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Step # 2 – Along with your business card give something which is of value
After you have introduced yourself and your business to the prospect verbally give something to the prospect which testifies your credibility. This can be a report, a new research, an article, etc. The information of value will make your business trustworthy in the eyes of the prospect and he or she will contact you.
Offer the article or report very politely to the prospect and mention that you might find it very informative and useful. Formally ask the prospect if he or she would like to take a look at the report or article.
After offering the information of value, ask the prospect courteously to stay in touch. You can say it in this way, “I would certainly love to exchange ideas with you after you have read the article. In this way we will be able to find out how our business will be able to be constructive for your business.”
Step # 3 – Follow up with a telephone call
Usually people are afraid of this step because they fear that the prospect might not show any interest in the service or the product which they are offering. You need to remember that this is not a sales call, this is call only explore the opportunity to do business together.
Call the prospect and have a conversation. You can begin by saying “Hi, this is Morris Mann, the professional business coach, and I hope you remember we met at the xyz event a couple of days ago. I sent you the article/report which you requested and was looking for the opportunity to discuss further about your business and ours. Perhaps we would be able to discover some common grounds. Is this a good time to talk?”
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The reasons why people refrain from giving a call
People think that if the prospect is interested, he or she will certainly call me, then why should I call? Actually, even if they would be interested they wont call because either they might be too busy and don’t even remember you or they don’t want to appear too interested.
Another reason is that people think that they don’t like receiving cold calls from stranger so obviously the prospects won’t like it either. Remember, you are not making cold calls to strangers. You have met the prospect in person, given your business card, sent the information of value and most importantly you had taken the permission from the prospect to call later.
People also think that perhaps it is better that they wait a while. In point of fact, the longer you wait the chances increase that the prospect might forget you. According to experts, making a call within two to four days is appropriate.
Benefits of making follow up calls:
- Follow up calls build your image as a professional and committed expert. People appreciate follow up calls.
- Despite some rejections, you will still generate more clientele as compared to waiting for the clients to come on their own.
- Sometimes follow up calls lead towards referrals and other connections. That’s a bonus.
Important tips for business networking:
- Prepare an interesting “verbal business card”.
- Remember to offer something of value along with your printed business card.
- Make a professional follow up call within two to four days.
By following these business networking and follow up tips you can definitely grow your business more efficiently and successfully.
Will these rules help you be successful in your business networking?
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Thank you for the great tips for business networking. I am using a digital business card for my business. It gives a better impression on the user. I didn’t know that it can be great for business too. So thanks and keep spreading great information.
Thanks Moris, for your valuable tips. I work as a business networking consultant, and I found your post to be very useful. I never realized the importance of follow up calls, and I avoid them. Your post is an eye-opener as I came to know the benefits of follow up calls.