How NOT to write a networking follow-up

Here’s what a mortgage adviser sent fellow attendees after a networking event we both attended. He also forwarded it to me for comment. His text is in bold. My comments are not.

This is what I sent out

Excellent plan

(with slight, personalised variations)

Go to the top of the class

to the new people I met, I also wrote to people I re-met (as you’ve noticed!) what’d’you think?

The real test is the response you get, but here are some comments (well, you *did* ask!)…

Dear *****,

Emails are more informal, so they often start with ‘Hi’ (unlike letters)

It was good to meet you

Americanism. English would be ‘nice’

yesterday

You get extra points for following up within 24 hours

and to have confirmed yet again that people prefer to deal with people they like.

Delete this or explain it e.g. I enjoyed the event and was pleased to meet so many likeable people. It reminded me that people prefer to deal with people they like. What did you think? (Your aim is to start a conversation)

As a residential and commercial mortgage broker I am trying to make contacts with accountants, family law solicitors, finance brokers (i.e. ones who do factoring & leasing), insurance brokers who don’t have a financial services arm, insolvency practitioners, independent estate agents, etc. but first and foremost – established, two partner or more accountancy firms.

I received several follow-ups asking me to introduce attendees to people but without giving me a reason why. I ignored them all. Also, it’s better to be specific and ask for just one thing. Especially if you can name the accountants you’re targeting e.g. ‘Who do you know that can introduce me to Fred at Fred Bloggs Accountancy?’

I’ve assumed the majority of people

Better to make it direct e.g. I assume you…

are self-employed

If it’s personalised and you’ve met them you should know whether they are self-employed or not

so will have or know of an accountant

Could be ‘Send me the contact details of all accountants you know, along with permission to mention your name. for each referral you provide you get a free entry into a prize draw to win a bottle of champagne at the end of the month’

and all I’m asking for is an introduction.

Don’t like ‘all I’m asking for’

(If you need more reasons why they should talk to me so you have more ammunition and can sell me more to them then do let me know).

Yes, they will want ammunition. If they don’t know you, they have no reason to attempt to sell you at all. They will also want to know what’s in it for them e.g. I will pay you commission for every introduction that turns into business (mind you, lots of people offer commission but I still only refer those I know, like and trust)

I’m aware that we’re all trying to increase traffic to our organisations

Assumption

and so would appreciate your reminding me of any way you feel I could help your business.

Again, why should they? Better to offer them something e.g. Want to fix at a low rate? Call me for a FREE no-obligation 1/2 hour telephone consultation about your mortgage options

Best Wishes

I’m never quite sure how to end emails. It seems ‘kind regards’ is commonly used

Name

Landline phone number

Mobile phone number

Good to include your contact details as a call to action. The standard form is to separate the signature with hyphens

I have a different aim in my own networking. I don’t try to sell, and I don’t ask for introductions. Instead, I want people I meet to subscribe to this newsletter so I can keep in touch month-by-month, remind them I exist, and hopefully be the first copywriter they think of when they (or someone they know) needs one. For my own networking follow-ups, I sometimes send a brief website review, to demonstrate expertise and generate goodwill. I don’t ask for anything in return and I trust that it will pay off in time.

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