In today’s social media world, you can’t get away with impersonal communications. Everything is personalized these days, from Facebook to Twitter to Linkedin. Even Google personalizes your search results if you select that option.
Anything that strays from personalized is now seen as fake. Impersonal screams “I’m just talking to you so you’ll give me money, I don’t care about you or what you need, just pay me”. Not the best scenario.
It used to be that when you returned from a networking function you could gather up all the business cards you’d collected, add the email addresses to the BCC field of an email and send out a bulk email saying:
“Hi, it was great to meet you at [event]. If you need help with [your service], just give me a call. Hope to see you at the next [event]”.
Now, that just comes across as insincere, no matter how good your intentions are.
Instead, take the time to write an individual email to the people you hit it off with. Use their name. Refer to something that came up in the conversation. Ask them about some specific scenario that either came up during the conversation or that you found out about them subsequently.
Look for a scenario that you may be able to help them with.
Then offer your services and tell them that if they are interested to get back to you.
You’ll get a lot more respect and businness that way. It shows that you are more focussed on helping that other person than getting their business, even if the end goal is the same.
Throw away all the business cards of people you didn’t actually have a conversation with or that you didn’t connect with. Trust me, you’re not going to need them. Focus on a few and go out of your way to show them that you are interested in them and their needs.
The faceless corporation is a thing of the dark ages. Don’t get stuck there with them. Formerly faceless corporations are learning and becoming much more personal. It should be so much easier for you.
A lot of what I’ve learned about networking (including personalization) I have learned from Lesley Dewar. She has a great free ebook called “Networking to a Plan” available at http://networkingtoaplan.com – I highly recommend it.