Attending conferences is just one way of expanding and widening your horizons because you get to experience not only “eureka” moments, you also get to experience a variety of people and ideas which could be profitable in the long run. Being in conferences is just like being handed a treasure map of limitless opportunities and contacts with whom you can cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship, making your business, and your professional life as a whole, easy and prosperous. But, to make this work and really profit from it, you have to learn the art , “secrets of the trade” so to speak, so here are three of the most effective and proven ways to follow up on your new contacts after a conference:
It is presumed of course that you are armed with a stack of calling cards that you will have to diligently distribute to each attendee, before they can even walk out of the door, and in turn, collect a pile of theirs to file in your rolodex.Take into consideration though, the number of participants in the room. If you think there are just too many to handle, then make a mental note of the ones who could really be worth your while. At the end of the day, take time to rank and profile these contacts based on your observation, no matter how brief the encounter there will always be that zing to help identify potential prospects.
Give it two days at least then follow through by sending them an e-mail to remind them of your meeting, what you have discussed in general and how interested you are in collaborating with them towards achieving a progressive common goal.Some may not be as responsive to your e-mail, initially, because they are either busy or have not had the time to settle down after a conference or may even be in the midst of conference-hopping. In this case, send them another e-mail without being pushy. This time, be more friendly and engaging, set the tone or perhaps signify your intent to make that phone call instead. Make sure that when you do, they will be available to take the call.
Get up-close and personal. It is now time to meet up with these contacts. Perhaps call for a mini-conference with your prospects emphasizing to them that another get-together could lead to ties beyond the professional, a more lasting bond. Exchange numbers and add them to your list of fb friends. It pays to share the knowledge too and spread some goodwill. You may even be surprised to be extended another invitation to hook up again and strengthen the business connections established.
After that’s all been said and done, it would not hurt to send each one of your contacts who showed up at the meet and greet, a thank-you note, preferably hand-written, just to make them feel appreciated and important. Surprisingly, this small gesture could even get you a business deal!