7 Ways to Connect with Networking Partners
1. Arrange a one-to-one meeting. Meeting a referral source in person is an excellent opportunity to learn more about his business and interests. Prepare some questions in advance so that the conversation flows smoothly. Be ready to give an update on your business and to ask lots of questions about your source’s interests.
2. Extend an invitation. Invite a referral source to a networking event. Introducing her to other businesspeople you know gives your source an opportunity to meet others in your target market and may also provide new business opportunities.
3. Set up an activity. A recreational activity, such as a golf outing, fishing trip, concert or play, is a great opportunity to let your referral source see a different side of you in an informal setting. The activity should be one that will give everybody time to relax, but it may also include an element of information such as a speech or educational presentation. To maximize the effectiveness of your time with your sources, you should invite no more than four people and spend at least one hour with each.
4. Arrange a group activity for clients. Gathering your clients together creates an excellent environment for synergy and for raising your credibility with all. The one thing the people in this group will definitely have in common is you, so you’ll certainly be the focus of a good many conversations. Group activities may be social, such as a barbecue or a ball game, or they may be educational, such as a seminar or demonstration.
5. Nominate a referral source. Watch for opportunities to nominate a referral source for an award. Local service and civic organizations often present annual awards recognizing contributions to a particular cause, and local periodicals often sponsor awards contests for businesspeople. Find out what groups and interests your referral source is involved in, and check to see if there is any form of recognition associated with them.
6. Include a source in your newsletter. Even a brief mention of a referral source in your newsletter can pay dividends down the road, including the opportunity for your source to reciprocate with his newsletter.
7. Arrange a speaking engagement. Help your referral source get in front of a group that would be interested in her business or area of expertise. Local chapters of service organizations, such as Rotary and Kiwanis, are always looking for good speakers. If you belong to a group that invites people to speak, use your contacts to help your source make the rounds among various chapters.
What are some other ways that you recommend to stay in contact with your networking partners?
4 thoughts on “7 Ways to Connect with Networking Partners”
As much as we all have begun to focus on internet marketing most deals are sealed face to face. Networking with the decision makers is the way to go…great post!
One-to-one is the golden one!
Ideally you need to get a special thing or activity to propose for a one-to-one. Some people might like being asked for a coffee at a great coffee shop. Others might prefer lunch. And even others will like a quick meeting at a conference break.
Always chose your contact’s preference not yours!
Jordi (Networking & Business: http://www.jordi.pro/netbiz )
During your one to one be sure to implement the personal side an interest, family or a fun activity the other person may have as a priority. Knowing that there is more than just the business side develops that sense of ease more quickly.
The good old fashioned person to person, eye to eye, sealed with a smile and a handshake is what business trust is all about.