3 Steps for Successful Professional Networking

by Morris N. Mann, P.D.

Social gatherings offer great opportunity to make some professional connections. Usually when professionals who run their small businesses go to any social gathering they are interested in giving their business cards to other people. These business people give their business cards to people with whom they have a conversation at the party because they think that it is easiest and cheapest way to do marketing of their business. However, giving away your business card to everyone with whom you talk in the party is not among the best practices. We suggest that you only give your business card to the person with whom you have some conversation regarding your business and who offers you the opportunity to follow up. Here are the three important steps of networking in social gatherings:

Step # 1 – Verbal Business Card

Before you take out your printed business card out of your pocket it is better to present your “verbal business card” to your potential business client. The verbal business card means that you introduce your business to the person and the person what products and/or services you offer. It should also talk about the problems which your potential client is facing and the solution which your you can offer.

Step # 2 – Give Something Which Shows Your Integrity

After the verbal introduction if you sense that the person is a potential business client, you can give him/her your business card, but give your business card along with something which has value and which shows your trustworthiness. This can be an article, a report, a new research, an award, etc. If you are not able to give that thing to the potential client, then ask him or her if you could send it to you later via email or post. This information of value will give you the opportunity to call the potential client for a follow up later.

Ask permission of the potential client to call him/her later to discuss the article/report/award, etc. It is better that you ask for the suitable time or date to call. You can say “can I give you a call next week to brief you more about how our services or products could benefit your business?”

Step # 3 – Follow Up

This is the part which many people find very difficult to do. The main reason behind the difficulty is that people fear of rejection. What you need to remember here is that this is not a sales call, it is just a follow up to explore the opportunities of working together. There is nothing to fear. You can call your potential client and introduce yourself again. Remind him/her when and where you met and that you had given or sent the information of value to the potential client. If the potential client is willing and able to talk then continue talking about how the products or services which you offer can benefit the business of the client.

Why People Do Not Make Follow Up Calls

First of all, many people think that if the potential client is interested he/she will call himself/herself. However, this does not happen often. Actually they might so busy that they would not be able to call although they might be interested in doing business with you. Moreover, some people also do not call themselves because they do not want to appear too interested.

People think that everybody hates cold calling. Well, this is not cold calling. You are calling someone whom you have met and you had taken the permission to call later. If you are one of those people that needs help with follow up calls, business coaching programs can help.

Some people wait too long to give a call. The longer you wait, the chances increase that the person would forget you and would not do business with you.

Why should you make follow up calls? Follow up calls are made by professionals and committed businessmen. So potential clients actually value follow up calls.This will certainly increase your sales and revenue. Besides getting business from the potential clients, you will be able to get hold of some referrals and other connections through follow up calls.

By following these simple steps you can ensure that the next time when you go to a social gathering or party you will be welcoming a significant increase in sales!

Morris N. Mann, P.D. – As a personal coach, Morris helps solo business owners and professionals with their goals of higher personal happiness and greater success in business. For over 15 years he coached business executives responsible for marketing and systems management in international product and service companies. With his Ph.D. in psychology, he has been practicing successfully for over 10 years.