Jun
13

Planned Systems Yield More Results – The Survey Says… Using a System

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Excerpt from Business Networking + Sex by Ivan Misner, Frank De Raffele and Hazel Walkersystem

The Survey Says… Using a System

Using a systematic approach to networking was the focus of several of the questions on the survey.  Results were revealing in a number of ways. When we asked the people in the survey if they had a systematic approach for staying in contact with the people they met through networking, 58 percent of the respondents said “No.” We had very similar results on at least one other related question.  The difference between men and women in these responses was negligible and not statistically significant.

What is significant, however, is the most people don’t have a solid system in place to guarantee that they stay in touch and ensure their connections are not dropped. This is a fatal flaw in relation to building a powerful personal network. We know this because our later survey results showed how influential the relationship between using systems and producing positive business results was, but we’ll get to that soon.  Notice in the quote below how the impersonal follow-up, or lack of quality system, turns off the recipient:

I once attended a networking evening at which I was “sold” to by the men there.  One of them was a car dealer. I was actually thinking of buying a new car at that time. I listened to his sale speech, told him I was very interested and gave him my card, asking that he call me.  Two days later I got an impersonal mass-market email from him that he circulated to everyone he’d met.  He never called me. What’s the point of going to these things if you are not going to listen to the people you meet or follow up a hot lead?

Those who do use good follow-up techniques show how powerful solid follow-up systems can be. This couple, for example, discovered how to leverage one another’s contacts:

My wife and I work together to bring referrals to each other. She is a banker and I am an online business consultant. Her keeping-in-contact system begins with asking her for their business cards. Then she asks them if they have a website, how they like it, and how they get business. She uses that opportunity to refer them to my web design, e-commerce and online marketing services. In turn, I ask my clients if they use online credit card payment services for their business and use that as a segue to introduce them to the services my wife provides as a personal banker.

This respondent also recognises the importance of having a systematic approach:

I have a very extensive (yet monitored) “drip system” that has paid back it’s cost many times over. This “drip system” includes recipe cards, a birthday club letter (prearranged for clients to pick up a cake at their local bakery), monthly newsletters, anniversary cards for the settlement of their homes, and invitations to an annual night at their local ball game.  Whether or not the client chooses to participate isn’t important. Keeping my name in the forefront of their minds after the first contact is established is what’s important. Later they’ll know where to turn when my services are needed.

As this respondent observes, keeping one’s eye on the purpose of business networking is a vital aspects of following up, too:

I’ve made several strong personal friendships with both men and women as a result of business networking. Like any relationships, they require work. It’s been my experience, regardless of gender, that you need to be mindful of that when you reach that level of trust where it turns into a friendship, because then you can forget all about the business aspect of the relationship. This is why I feel it is key to have a structure in place that continually brings you back to generating business and making money. Losing sight of that changes the nature of the relationship.

Stay tuned for next month to continuing reading He Say + She Says On Planned Systems Yield More Results

Categories : Networking Systems

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