So you just spent the last 3 days filling your head with great new ideas, your contact list has great new connections and a handful of promising leads. You’re tired but revitalized in your endeavours, you want to take advantage of all the opportunities that this conference has given, what should you do?
Three words. Two tasks. It’s time to connect!
1. You should connect with all those business cards online if you haven’t already. Personally and with their brands. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.
2. One week later. Message them to touch base with those you A) Enjoyed meeting and want to continue a relationship with and B) Consider a lead and want to pursue. These are two different messages, so write them out, but don’t just send them the default message, personalize it by mentioning something you took notice in whether it be the conversation you had or a situation you shared.
A lot of people like to connect mid-conversation and that’s great but something gets lost, and this is what we see.
Cutting the conversation to get on your phone is impersonal, yes it’s to network but isn’t that what you’re already doing? The human interaction is vastly more important than the digital one. Build that relationship first. Secondly, that business card they hand you is an extension of them, that logo, that paper stock, the design, they’re a great way to see how they view themselves. Do as the Japanese do, graciously accept the card with both hands and say something positive that you enjoy about the card. Show them you notice the little things.
The great thing about waiting to make that digital connection is it gives you the opportunity to do so.. think about it. The next day you take the simple act of connecting with them on LinkedIn, no words needed and suddenly you’re top-of-mind again. Simple.
We also find that making a note on the back of the card is a nice touch to remember the individual, again it shows your attention to detail and that you see them as important enough to make a note. Finally, you can reference that note when you message them a week later.
Simple things go a long way. Enjoy those connections.
addendum: We just finished attending Digital Summit Phoenix and noted a few things. We had automated messages sent to us on twitter and linkedIn saying how great it was to meet etc.. before the conference even begun! Don’t do this. It’s ridiculous. You’re at a conference for real connections make them.