In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, New York lawyer Joleena Louis gives insight into her follow-up strategy that has dramatically improved her networking ROI.
I often preach about networking being the key to growing your law practice. But once you go to a networking event and come home with a hand full of business cards, it can be difficult to know what to do next.
Over the years I’ve developed a pretty good system for following up with networking contacts. And as a result, I have created many new referral sources.
Within 24 hours of meeting someone new, I do the following things:
Network with a Purpose
This first tip actually happens before you go out and network. The most important improvement I’ve made to my networking strategy is to come prepared. Before I get to the event I already know who I want to meet and why. Many people go to events and talk to whoever they run into, but having a strategy ensures you don’t waste your time or theirs.
By spending my networking time with people who I can both give and receive value, I get a much higher return on investment for the time, money and energy spent.
A key takeaway here is to be sure that you can add value as well. No one wants to be in a one-sided relationship. If you can’t give anything in return, then they may not be a good contact for you.
Immediately after a meeting or event, save the contact information from anyone you have met and write down any key points from the conversation.
This will be incredibly useful when following up later. You will stand out in their mind by sending a more personalized message based on things you discussed. For example, if they talked about their upcoming trip to Rome, you can send them information about an amazing restaurant you enjoyed while there.
Small things like this will not only impress your new contacts but it also shows them that you are interested in making a real connection.
Send Follow-Up Emails
Within 24 hours you should send a follow-up email stating that you enjoyed speaking with them. In this email, you can remind them of what you discussed, plan another meeting, or share additional ways they can connect with you.
This also shows that are invested in developing a real relationship.
Connect on Social Media
Also, immediately after the event, you need to find them on social media.
This is by far the simplest way to stay in contact. Commenting on articles and updates is a great way to stay top of mind and to remain relevant with your connections. This will help them to do the same with you as well.
Set a Reminder to Reach Out Again
The last thing I do is schedule a reminder to follow-up again within 30 days. This follow-up can be another meeting or phone call, sharing a useful article via email or just say hello on social media.
After this is completed, schedule a reminder to reach out again in another month or two. This is how you keep the relationship going and build a network of people who know and trust you enough to send you business.
These tips are very easy to implement and once you get in the routine you’ll see an immediate ROI in your networking.
Using this system, I’ve built a network that sends me a steady stream of referrals. And it only takes a few minutes a day.