Every marketing strategy that you initiate requires the same thing to be successful. You've got to follow up. You wisely got the action started with the charismatic social chat, the person-to-person contact, the dynamic delivery of your presentation. You've worked every crowded room and attended networking events three or four times a month. However, each of these great initiatives will fall short of their full potential, if you fail to follow-up.

DO IT NOW: The Four Minute Follow Up When you're ready to take follow up to the next level, you will never leave home without your follow-up kit. In it you will always have note cards, envelopes and stamps. This will set you apart from every other networker, because you are prepared for the four minute follow up. At the earliest opportunity - in your car, on the train, or even sitting in the now empty meeting room, take the following four steps:

1 Use your collected business cards to hand address #10 envelopes 2 Write a short personal note reviewing your contact 3 Enclose any relevant information you offered to provide 4 Put on the stamp and put it in the mail

Four minutes and you have set yourself apart in a memorable way.

INSIGHT: Hand Written Leaves Them Smitten

Now that you've followed up with your targeted contacts you're on a roll. When you're back at your desk, take another four minutes and write a note to speakers, presenters or hosts. Thank them for their time, expertise and talent. Include local press clippings, if they're available. Let them know to whom will be sending referrals. A quote, current or upcoming, from your company newsletter could make you even more memorable. If possible, provide speakers with potential clients for their area of expertise. At the very least, tell them how the contact has been useful to you.

REMINDERS: A Handful of Do's and 1 Don't

Do send a note or personal letter

Do use a #10 envelope

Hand addressed, hand stamped

Do include a your picture

DON'T include a solicitation

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

In less than fifteen minutes you have made a lasting impression. You have not pressured or pushed your own agenda but you will be remembered when your name, business or area of expertise is triggered.

TAKE 2 BUSINESS CARDS & CALL ME IN THE MORNING

You've heard us talk about asking for business cards instead of giving them away. With targeted selection of the prospects whom you can help, you now have been given a head start. That business card in your hand gives you have permission to follow up with a phone call, personal card, email letter. You name it... as long as you do it.

EMAIL - Your Silent Partner

By now, we hope we have convinced you that follow-up should be fine-tuned, fast and friendly. It may seem that email is being ignored as we personalize, customize and energize our networking follow-up.

To a certain extent that is true. The goal is to stand out from the masses. Email belongs to the masses. That's one of its greatest assets. But before we give up on email entirely, let's ask ourselves if there is a way to benefit from today's focus on follow up. The answer is a resounding,"Yes!" It comes down to your bottom line, your signature. That's right. Get your email signature working for you. In the same way that you follow up after a face to face, do the same thing with your email. After your name put your version of "What can I do for you?" It's a really friendly call to action and it's free!

After You Follow Up, Follow Through

Okay. You've made a great connection. Now you have to follow through even on the follow up. You have to consistently maintain the connection. Following up is different than prospecting. We all know that "You never get a second chance to make a first impression". However with the personal follow-up you have the opportunity to build on the impression your prospect made on you over and over again.

There are numerous sports metaphors that emphasize that it's what comes after the contact that is most important. It's not only important. It must be done repeatedly. Here's a revised networking version for you to think about, "in networking as in golf, it's the follow through that makes the difference." Get ready to make a difference in your networking. Follow up! Thanks for tapping in to "Do You Give Up or Follow Up?"

Author's Bio: 

Drew Hunt has 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, expert networker, and sales executive. Currently Drew is a Chief Network Development Officer at Inspirecard http://www.inspirecard.net. The Inspire Card is a simple yet very powerful marketing platform designed to help you retain your customers while drawing new customers from a community of businesses. The Inspire Card accomplishes these fundamental business goals at a price that EVERYONE can afford!