Being an entrepreneur is wonderful. You set your own hours, you do what you love, you create opportunities for people, and you stimulate the economy. Without a doubt, the life of an entrepreneur is good but also hectic at times. Even though you’re your own boss, the reality is that you’re responsible for your actions (good or bad). You don’t have a boss to answer to – you have clients. Through the acquisition of clients, you’re able to make a profit doing what you love doing.
As any entrepreneur would tell you, knowing what to do with a product and/or service will separate you from your competitors. However, there’s something many entrepreneurs fail to do on a consistent basis and that is follow up. That’s right; following up with potential customers/prospects will help make your job a lot easier in obtaining new clients.
Think about it for a moment. Going to networking events and getting business cards won’t do anything for you unless you follow up in a timely manner. I can’t tell you how many times I go to an event and fail to have anyone follow up with me with a phone call, letter, or email. Many opportunities are not taken advantage of simply because follow up is neglected and/or overlooked.
Here are some tips you should follow when you get someone’s business card
- Write down some information on the back of the card that will help you remember the person who handed you the card. By writing something down, you show the other person you’re interested in what they have to say and in addition, it will help you remember a fact or an important point that was made.
- Set aside time within 24 to 48 hours after the event to follow up. You have to show the initiative. Don’t wait for the other person to do what you should be doing. I tell my clients, if you want to improve your business, you have to be aggressive.
- Meet with the person at a neutral site, e.g. coffee shop. By meeting them at a neutral site, you’re able to relax and not put on a sales pitch.
- Get to know the person and ask the question, ‘how can I help you?’ Let me say it this way. People do business with people they like, know, and trust. This isn’t the time to give a sales pitch. It’s your job to learn about the individual (their likes and dislikes) and how you can support them, either directly or indirectly.
- Keep in touch with them on a regular basis. People won’t remember you, if they don’t know you or hear from you time from time.
Through my entrepreneurial experience, I have been fortunate to meet so many people. Because I’ve been able to help them with their businesses, opportunities have been presented to me in many areas. I implore you to see networking as fun. It’s a way of meeting new and exciting people. Even though you may not connect with everyone, if you learn the importance of connecting with the right people, doors will open for you to blow up from the floor up. I leave you with this phrase – The Fortune Is In The Follow Up.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, author of The ABC’s of Making Business Networking Work For You and success coach. Contact him at www.sinclairgrey.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey