I see it all the time… not only as an avid networker but as a marketing coach and consultant. You meet someone… you exchange business cards… and then nothing happens! No one follows up. Why? Why bother networking if you’re not going to follow up to see where a relationship can lead? You need the best business networking strategy to really benefit your business.
This is a typical breakdown point for many independent professionals, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. On a broader scale, you spend all that time, money, and energy identifying prospects and making the initial contact. Then what happened? You disappeared! You literally faded away into the proverbial abyss!
Now, the popular consensus among many marketing experts is that it takes at least 4 touches or contacts just to get on someone’s radar and at least 7 touches for them to see you as a credible source to buy from. Now if that’s the case and you don’t follow up beyond the initial contact, you’re not even on their radar! So how could you possibly expect them to buy from you? Even if they need or want what you have to offer, unless they can’t find anyone else, they’ll probably give their business to someone they’re more comfortable with.
Remember unless there’s no choice, people tend do business with people they know, like, and trust… and regularly staying in front of your target market builds that bridge of familiarity and comfort with you. This way when they’re ready to buy what you sell, you already have top-of-mind awareness and will be one of the first people they call!
So with all of this being said, I firmly believe that every independent professional, small business owner, or entrepreneur must, and let me repeat that MUST, have at least one what I call “Keep in Touch” marketing strategy!
It’s critical that you stay in front of your target market on a fairly consistent basis. This at a minimum will give them a chance to get to know you… to get comfortable with you… comfortable enough to buy from you.
So let me guess… I bet your next question is “well what are some great ways of keeping in touch with my target market?”
My answer… there are so many possibilities available to you… regardless of your budget. Here are some possibilities:
- Start a blog and allow your target market to join in for regular conversations;
- Create a newsletter or an ezine that shares tips and tricks;
- Publish a regular podcast where you discuss hot topics of interest;
- Write “how to” articles geared to make your target market’s life easier or better and periodically send them out as a way to add value;
- Send out holiday, birthday, and special occasion greeting cards – I don’t care how old your target market is, we all appreciate being remembered;
- Reach out and touch someone with a phone call… even if it’s just to say hello;
- Invite one, or better yet a few people from your target market for coffee and some networking… believe me, if you put some thought into who you invite, they may really appreciate you connecting them with others they may be able to do business with as well;
- And we can go on and on and on here.
As you can probably see, there are literally tons of ways that you can keep in touch with your target market. Now be mindful that you don’t overdo it here… you don’t want to become a nuisance… That’s not the point. Neither is the point to bombard your target market with solicitations they didn’t request. This will only trigger the “oh no, what are they trying to sell me now?!” syndrome. The point is to find ways to stay top-of-mind by regularly adding value.
Additionally, select the marketing tactics and tools that both your target market and you are comfortable with. In other words don’t start a blog if neither your target market nor you are comfortable online – you most likely won’t get the best results that way.
So in closing, remember the power is in the follow up! You need to have at least one way, one “Keep in Touch” marketing strategy to regularly stay in front of your target market and establish the top-of-mind awareness it takes to succeed.