How To Create A Powerful Networking Follow-Up Plan

Once you meet someone new, your goal is to establish and KEEP mindshare.

Our brains can only carry 1-2 brands in our minds at a time to a specific thing.

In real estate, 88% of people say that they’ll do business with their previous realtor again but don’t because the realtor doesn’t keep in touch.

If I asked you to name a brand of potato chips, a car, a sports team, or pretty much anything else, you’ll find the first two (or maybeeee three) come at the snap of a finger… Beyond that, your answer will probably start with

“ummmm…”

After you meet someone, your goal is to steal that top spot in their mind for whatever your brand does.

Now if you only follow-up once, we have their attention for all of 0.00002 seconds. It takes us about 7 times of seeing something or someone before we recognize it and are ready to take action.

With that in mind, we’re going to follow-up eight times over eight weeks (or what we call an 8×8).

Before you freak out about overwhelming people, those follow-ups (touches) are going to be diversified so you’re not calling them eight times and they won’t feel like you’re harassing them.

I know this can seem overwhelming, so I created a FREE workbook to help you put it into action:

 

Touch 1: Send a Handwritten Note

I know I know, this might sound a little “extra”, but that’s the point.

How often do you get mail that’s not a bill?

Unless you shop like a crazy person online, you probably don’t.

Our goal is to make them feel important.

The more people you can make feel important and help reach their goals, the more people who will help you and the faster you’ll get to yours.

The more people you can help reach their goals, the faster you'll get to yours. Click To Tweet

With a handwritten note, you’re showing them that they’re important enough for you to take the time out of your day to write the note.

The note doesn’t have to be anything fancy….

It can be something as simple as, “Hi Erica! It was so nice to meet you at the event at American Social. It was so fun chatting with you about our workout routines. I’m looking forward to connecting with you again and learning more about your goals. In the meantime, should you ever have any questions regarding real estate or otherwise, please feel comfortable enough to reach out. I’m always here to help!”

Again, the goal is to blow. their. mind.

No one else does this.

They won’t forget you.

They can’t.

Just a few pro tips:

  • Write in blue ink instead of black. There’s something psychological about blue ink that brings happy feelings.
  • My favorite notecards are from Notecard Cafe because they’re cheap, beautiful and you can customize the color of the envelope. My branding is teal, so my envelopes are teal. With that in mind, my goal is to make sure that when someone sees a teal envelope, they know it’s from me. Pick a color that represents your brand and stick with it.
  • Buy stamps by the roll. If you have the envelopes and stamps on hand, you’re a million times more likely to do it. When I first started doing this, I’d write the notes and they’d sit in my car until I had to throw them away or re-write them because they’d been bent, stepped on or had fingerprints all over them. Keep the stamps on hand. You can thank me later.
  • Make a habit of ALWAYS doing it the day after a networking event. If you wait two days or longer, you’re more likely to forget or start coming up with reasons not to sit down to write them.

 

Touch 2: Send a Follow-Up Email or Text

Have email, notecard and text templates ready for your follow-ups.

If you have to think, you’re wayyyyy less likely to do the follow-ups so templates make it insanely easy to plug it in, customize it for the person and do the follow-up.

I prefer to connect with people in person, so I usually invite people to lunch, brunch, happy hour or some other event… So you’ll want to have a follow-up template so you don have to figure out how to word it every time.

I use Calendly to integrate with my calendar so they can pick whatever time works best for them to connect.

I use Contactually CRM because the system is built to help you follow-up with your existing network in a beautiful, easy to use way and it gives you the ability to easily use templates. I also have text templates with my social media info so that I don’t have to go digging for it.

The more templates you use, the easier your follow-ups will be.

Oh, and a quick pro tip: just because you use templates doesn’t mean you can’t make your follow-ups personal. Use the template and jazz it up for each person with a little p.s. at the end.

 

Touches 3, 5 and 7: Send An Item of Value

Touches 3, 5 and 7 should be items of value related to whatever you’re trying to gain mindshare for…

So as a realtor, I have an 8×8 for future buyers, an 8×8 for future sellers and an 8×8 for regular “newly mets”.

For buyers and sellers, those 3 items of value are mailed to a physical address and they’re quick cheat sheets that answer the questions most buyers will usually ask. For the regular newly mets, the touches are simply connecting them with someone, inviting them to an event and asking how I can help them.

 

Touches 4, 6 and 8: Call Them

For touches 4, 6 and 8, you’re going to call them to check up on them… Here’s my favorite script:

“Hey Sam, this is Alexa, your favorite realtor. Just checking in to make sure you got the __ that I sent you? [Yes, I got it.] Great! Did you have any questions that I can answer for you? [If they’ve said I’m thinking about buying or selling in the next year or so, I ask a third question] Have you given anymore thought to your purchase/sale OR is that home purchase/sale still in the plans for you?”

By keeping it super simple and only having two or three questions for them, you get to learn about their motivation and what they need… and you’re WAY better positioned to give them exactly what they need, rather than spending all your time and energy trying to sell them on something they don’t even really want or need.

The more you have to think, the less likely you are to do all of this, so you should have some sort of system to remind you when to follow-up with people. I love Contactually but there are also SUPER low-tech ways to do this too.

 

Staying In Touch Beyond the 8×8

Beyond the 8×8, you’ll want to continue to keep in touch with them. Just because you currently have mindshare, doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be able to keep it. You’ll need to continue staying in touch so that you’re always their go to resource.

Business cards are meant to be like a key to unlock a relationship. It’s the beginning of a relationship, not the end.

If you don’t follow-up and keep in touch, all of your efforts into networking will have been wasted.

… and truthfully, following-up is the hardest part of networking.

Following up doesn't have to be hard or scary. With a simple system and lots of contribution, your follow up emails, calls and texts will be anticipated.

9 thoughts on “How To Create A Powerful Networking Follow-Up Plan”

  1. Tracey Nguyen says:

    Love everything you said here. Follow up is so crucial! Thanks for so many awesome tips 🙂

    1. Absolutely! So glad you enjoyed 🙂

  2. Tiffany Stein Staples says:

    Oh! The handwritten note has opened so many doors for me. It’s amazing what a little time and attention to detail means in a digital society. I love it!

    1. COULDN’T AGREE MORE!

  3. Garen Arnold says:

    Maybe the question should be how do you interact with someone in a memorable way verses just handing out your business cards to any and everyone. Sure, it’s a numbers game, but strong connections are much better than hundreds of meaningless ones.
    But, realistically I don’t think people like to be sold stuff. Meaning, a non aggressive tactic might be better. For example, after your short conversation if it’s necessary do you mind if I bug you on the phone to discuss blank. Then, maybe say something humorous like please don’t think I’m a telemarketer, because on my business card it says “not a telemarketer” (manually write that on there).
    Possibly ask about emailing them first so it’s less aggressive. If you go back and forth a couple times, possibly ask if you can call them.
    I do like the idea of sending a handwritten note, but also I have found giving away something tasty. Like a piece of candy you don’t have everyday. Then, possibly a handwritten note and that candy? Your thoughts?

    1. Totally agree to everything you said! It’s not about making MORE connections, it’s about making BETTER connections and focusing on building a relationship.

  4. …people just randomly give you business cards without any context? or is this at networking events?

  5. Stephanie Fortune says:

    You know how much I love this article and topic! It is such a great refresher on things that I have read and put things back into perspective! I found myself recently reverting back into the habit of spending a great deal of my time with my “strong ties”. Maybe that is because of the holidays, in any case I found it to be immediately draining, and not only that, I’ve realized that since the last time I spend a lot of time with these people i have grown so much that a lot of the things that they either did or said irritated me.
    I love the fact that you shed light on the fact that networking doesn’t have to be a numbers game because i certainly come across the same type that simply runs around the room and places a card in anyone’s hand that appears open (in many cases even hands that are not). I am looking forward to networking again and having a system to follow up with that will give me a great chance of building authentic relationships and being able to truly contribute to the lives of others.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Woohoo! So glad you found this useful…. and yes! Its 100% about relationships 🙂

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