Business networking should be part of your regular business activities. Whether you network online via social media or offline at events one thing is for sure, you need to write thank you notes. After you have connected with someone and exchange information with her, take another step to build on the rapport you started. A simple thank you note reminding them who you are and what was discussed will do wonders for building on your new relationship.
However, before you sit down to write your Thank You notes, let’s talk about a few things you should always include.
1. Refer to the date of the event.
Business networking events are gatherings where you meet many different people. It’s hard to keep all the names, faces and businesses straight. Include the date of the event in your note to remind them when you met.
2. Restate your interest in becoming business partners.
Hopefully you struck up a conversation and asked a number of important questions regarding their niche and their goals for their business. With this in mind remind them that you think a partnership with them sounds like a possible way that you both can build your businesses.
3. Re-emphasize how your skills will help.
During your short conversation you probably mention your 30-second pitch which highlighted your skills and products. Reiterate those to remind them how you fit into his or her business goals.
4. Set up another meeting or contact.
Choose a set time and meeting place for a follow-up. Even if it’s only via email or Skype, setting the date and time and then scheduling it on your calendar will give it a high priority.
5. Include your contact information.
You probably exchanged contact information or business cards at the event but go ahead and include your information again. Networking events are a pool of information and you want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you again.
6. Send it within 24 hours of the event.
Get in the habit of completing your thank-you notes before leaving the parking lot or shutting your computer down. Also, put a stamp on it and place it in the mailbox. The sooner this is done the less procrastinating you’ll do.
7. Be neat and to the point.
Don’t scribble some words of insincerity or write a long dissertation about how your partnership will skyrocket sales. Get to the point which is to set up a meeting; it is then that you can talk in more detail about ideas and plans you might have.
8. Handwritten is preferred.
If at all possible don’t type or email your note of thanks. If your handwriting isn’t legible ask someone with excellent penmanship to write it for you. Keep it neat.
Let’s do a quick review of what you need to include in your Thank You note to really make an impact:
First, always add the date of the event.
Second, restate your interest in becoming business partners.
Third, re-emphasize how your skills will help them in reaching their goals.
Fourth, set up another meeting or contact.
Fifth, include your contact information.
Sixth, be sure to send it within 24 hours of the event.
Finally, be neat, to the point and take the time to hand write your note.
Business networking is about staying visible naturally, it’s not accomplished overnight and it’s something successful people work at every day.
Use these tips and watch your network grow!