I had a terrific conversation today with Rick Itzkowich of www.ProductiveLearning.com and www.QuoteActions.com. We talked about social networking and I came away with a lot of information. One of the most important points that Rick made explains a great deal of why networking fails for many people.
We meet someone, have a nice conversation, and exchange cards. Then we go our separate ways. What happens next? We pile their cards up or put them in a rolodex, but we don't move the relationship along any further. Hopefully, your big idea is to not give them an unsolicited sales pitch for your product.
So what do you do? Send the obligatory "itwasnicetomeetyouletmeknowifIcanhelpyouinthefuture" email? Sign them up - unsolicited - to your newsletter or email list? (I have two real estate agents who send me the nearly identical newsletter each month.)
People do a poor job of starting a back-and-forth relationship because they have nothing to give, says Rick. A gift is a way of offering something of value to keep the conversation going or develop the relationship further. Bags of money are ideal, but if your supply is low, try something else of value. Invitations to events, information, or a tip about a service someone can use. Here's one for you from me: check out Rick's website at www.QuoteActions.com for a free trial of his service.