BMFM! Welcome to another exciting dramatization episode of A Drink with “The Hurricane!” As we continue to act out scenarios focused on the dos and don’ts of networking, I hope that you are learning lots of tips and putting them into action. We are here to help you get better at marketing and ultimately grow your business.
This video’s “wrong” version may be confusing to you. It looks like Tony did the correct thing here. He asked for Nicole’s business card, and promised to send her an email soon with some potential dates for a follow-up meeting. Nicole was agreeable to this suggestion, and was looking forward to hearing from Tony. So why is this example the wrong way?
This is the way most people handle contacts made at networking events. You are missing out on a prime opportunity here, folks. The problem is that even though the both of you have every intention of following up with an email for a future appointment, once you are back in your offices, something always gets in the way. You have a caregiver staffing issue that needs to be handled immediately, you have 57 emails in your inbox that you haven’t even opened yet, your receptionist calls in sick, etc. These are all common situations that can happen at any time, but even just the normal work you do on a daily basis keeps you busy and distracted. The same is true for everyone you met at the event. Now you push sending that email to the back burner, and maybe get around to it a few days or even a few weeks later. Guess what? That lead is pretty much wasted now. How are you going to remember what you spoke about with those people, and expect them to remember you?
I have written the acronym “BMFM” above. This stands for “Book a Meeting From a Meeting.” This is your BEST way to prevent this potential loss of momentum from a great first meeting. Here’s what you do…While you are still at the event and talking to the person, exchange cards and then pull out your phone. Ask the person to do the same, and open up your calendars. Choose a time when you are both free, the sooner the better, and put it in your calendars right then and there! Now there is no need to follow up with the person, because you already have an appointment to meet again. I recommend scheduling to meet in the next 2-3 days for breakfast, or coffee in the afternoon. Then you can do the same thing during that meeting. Book a tour at their facility, or a time to go co-marketing, or a meeting with their boss, etc, and the cycle continues.
This single action helps to always keep your calendar full of meetings and events, while simultaneously saving you tons of time trying to follow up and book things with people. Put this into practice immediately. The more you do it, the more natural it will become to you. Doctors’ offices do this regularly. They often try to schedule your next appointment as you are leaving. Try it with everything you do. Next time you are visiting friends or family that you don’t see regularly, schedule the next time you will see them. Do it on the spot and save time for everyone. This tip will eliminate a lot of stress from your life.
To learn more about becoming an expert networker, sign up for Team Hurricane now! The webinar scheduled for April 23 will be all about how to properly handle networking events, and getting business from them. As an added bonus to our Team Hurricane members, we will be uploading video examples to our Facebook page, on how to correctly do an effective elevator pitch so you can Blow Away the Competition!