Friday, June 12, 2015

The Fortune is in the Follow Up

Recently I was asked to present to a new forming BNI Chapter - What is the #1 Trait of a Master Networker.  Later the same week I attended a ProNetworker meeting and guess what part of the presentation was about?  You guessed it - What is the #1 Trait of a Master Networker.

So What is the #1 Trait of a Master Networker?  The answer - Follow Up.  Sadly though, most people do not do this well as the statistics below show.

48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
25% of sales people make a second contact and stop
12% of sales people only make three contacts and stop
Only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts
2% of sales are made on the first contact
3% of sales are made on the second contact
5% of sales are made on the third contact
10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact 

BNI conducted a survey for the book Masters of Networking that asked business professionals what the most important traits of a master networker were. The most important trait was following up on referrals. Not giving them, following up on them.

Remember, the best system for following up is the One you're going to use.

There are many kinds of follow-up. You should follow up when you meet a person, not just when you get a referral. Following up is part of building a relationship, not just closing a deal.

Week 20 in The 29% Solution, discusses follow up and how critical consumers are with their expectations.  So, when you meet people networking what is your typical follow up plan?  Is that different when you speak with a qualified prospect?  And do you have a plan for future follow up like a 'drip' campaign?  What does that look like?  And why do we follow up?  The answer - To show we are credible, 'stay in the game,' etc.

From page 115 of The 29% Solution ..."Good follow-up is not just doing what is required or what you've promised to do.  It also involves going BEYOND what is expected.  I think we all agree that this type of successful follow up system takes consistent work."

In the The 29% Solution, there is a real simple form called The Networking Follow-Up Report Card, and it's very simple.  Simply just going in to automatic follow up tasks doesn't cut it.  Every prospect is not the same and you have to differentiate and personalize, don't you?  This Networking Follow-Up Report card syas, "Hey, here are the contact names.  When did you first connect?  What follow-up is necessary?  When did you complete the follow-up?  Did you follow-up after three months?  Six months?  Nine months?  Did you follow up afterwards?"  Any kind of system like that can be very effective to help track the connections and the referrals and the opportunities you have to reconnect with other people.

You might choose something as low tech as a personal note, greeting card, or email an article or podcast of interest or as high-tech as an electronic marketing campaign through CRM program like Infusion Soft, Constant Contact, or ACT.  Regardless you must make sure it fits your follow-up 'personality" of sorts.

To learn more  listen to Dr. Ivan Miser's podcast #290

Become a Master Networker - Follow UP! 
Your comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated.  We would love to hear about your follow-up method(s).

In appreciation,
'Helping You and Your Business Look Good'


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