Smart business owners know that WHO you meet is important, but HOW you follow up and stay in touch is what really counts.
Developing AND IMPLEMENTING strategic objectives around your on-going keep-in-touch strategy helps you in two ways. You’re building and strengthening your current business relationships, and keeping yourself visible and top-of-mind in your business community so you can attract new customers.
Many otherwise savvy and productive business professionals don’t have a plan in place for both following up with new contacts AND staying in touch with those they already know. It’s essential to develop a strategy that makes sense for YOUR business and implement it consistently.
Business professionals face two major challenges when it comes to getting noticed — many of us are in a crowded field with many competitors, and ALL of us are trying to get the attention of people who have busy lives and are already on information overload. When you have a consistent, specific keep-in-touch marketing strategy, you’ll stand out AND be remembered. And, you’ll be approached first when a need arises for your services because you’re “top of mind”.
In our high tech culture, most people are apt to text or send an e-mail because it’s quick and easy. Keeping the personal touch in the mix can make all the difference. Business professionals who understand this, and make sure to include activities such as snail-mailed handwritten notes in their plan, are way ahead of the game.
In addition to having a balance of both online marketing AND off-line methods of reaching out to people, it’s useful to understand that there are two general groups that are important to cultivate. The first is your growing “tribe” — the contacts who are interested in you and what you do. The marketing strategy for this group can include a Blog, a Social Media plan, and doing live presentations for different organizations in your local business community.
The second group is people with whom you’ve built – or would like to develop – a deeper relationship. These can include current or former clients, centers of influence in your industry and potential joint venture partners, to name a few. Strategies for this group include live networking, local lunch or coffee dates, pre-scheduled phone meetings, and on-going correspondence.
Here are a few tips to help you close the gap between intention and getting into consistent action:
* Block out follow up time after a networking meeting or similar event
* Schedule regular keep-in-touch time on your calendar
* Share your plan with an accountability buddy or Master Mind group
REMEMBER, these activities are not about selling or trying to drum up business. It’s all about a keep in touch marketing strategy that gets results by building lasting relationships.