Nancy Sanders of Valley based Three Dog Marketing (www.threedogmarketing.com), like so many businesses, grew her business through a number of strategies and networking was a key component of that growth. In a recent blog, she offered some tips on how to turn marketing contacts into relationships and ultimately leverage them for more profit.
The first tip she offers is to get organized. Not a mind blower, but sometimes doesn’t get enough attention toward success. You don’t gather information and leave it in a binder somewhere. “Organize the cards that you gather while networking into different piles based on follow-up priority,” writes Sanders.
Tip number is also a no brainer, but also is another one that needs a lot of attention. That is set goals and schedule time for a follow up. Ask yourself these questions, Sanders notes: How many appointments will you schedule?; What resources gathered in networking will require more investigation?; What is the purpose of these activities?; “Be clear and strategic about what you will do with the information gathered, then schedule time to call people, schedule meetings and use the great advice you receive,” Sanders states.
Number three tip from Sanders states how important accountability is. Set goals and make sure someone holds you accountable, she says.
Creativity is the life blood of the marketing business. This goes for your game plan as well. It is important to have a follow up program to build relationships with contacts made through networking. “Everyone should get a phone call, an email or a LinkedIn invitation,” writes Sanders. Think if your contacts stated a current need or what other events your contact might attend where you can introduce them to someone who might be a good connection.”
In any case don’t fall back on stale practices that used to work. Sanders urges thinking out of the box to take those contacts from prospects to clients!