I’m a systems and process guy. It’s just instinctual, I can’t help it.
If you’ve seen my email signature, you’ll see the numbers 8-8-2-2, my Kolbe profile. The second 8 reveals my Follow Thru instinct on a 1-to-10 scale. Perhaps this is why I follow a consistent practice after every introductory meeting.
Four Steps I Perform After Meeting a New Person
No system is perfect, but here’s what I do after I meet a new person for coffee or lunch.
- I immediately enter their contact information in my Outlook application. I’ve tried using a CRM system, but the benefits of using one have only been incremental. Regardless, get that contact information in the tracking system that you use.
- Connect with this person in LinkedIn. Most of the time, they will accept the invitation. If I don’t forget, I let them know I’ll be sending a LinkedIn connection request. Sometimes, this happens ahead of time.
- Figure out immediately how you can promote them. There are several ways to do this. My favorite method is to connect them with someone I know where both parties could benefit. Do they have a Twitter account? Promote them.
- Add a calendar item in Outlook or the tool of your choice two months into the future reminding yourself to send them a note either via email or through the regular mail–handwritten notes are a nice touch. If I find an article or blog post that I think pertains to them, I pass it along.
Keep repeating steps 3 and 4 regularly.
Remember, we’re not in the get-clients-quick business. Network building is slow, but it works when done effectively.
More importantly, the process above is about building quality relationships, even friendships.
Since I believe in transparency, this next step is one that I do not follow regularly which is why I left it out above.
Do you use an autoresponder system like Aweber, MailChimp, or Drip? If so, perhaps Step 5 is adding that name to your email list. Your system may require double opt-in. If so, incorporate the requirements needed for this 5th bonus step.