Networking-5.13.14I attended an event a few weeks ago at which I explored the exhibit hall and visited with several sponsors. As a business coach it’s fun for me to see the clever ideas at the booths, and especially to watch the follow up strategies.   As I said, the event was a few weeks ago, and today I received two emails from sponsors that were the first contacts I had received from them since the event. (And one person didn’t have a picture or any information about them that would connect me to the experience at the event!)   This really broke my heart. These entrepreneurs invested no small amount of money to sponsor, and didn’t make it a priority to follow up. I’ve seen it so many times. Now, many sponsors did have beautifully crafted follow up sequences that have helped me to get to know them and what they do. I’ve also yet to receive a single phone call. As they say, the fortune is in the follow up.   There are a few reasons entrepreneurs don’t follow up. Perhaps they have just stepped into the spotlight for the first time and their ego gets scared and wants to protect them from the unsafe world of being seen. They may create other distractions, technology breakdowns, etc. Sometimes people assume that just seeing their booth is enough, and that clients will magically follow up with them. While this does happen, it is rare. Most people avoid spending money even if it is good for them. Someone may have loved you and your booth, and have earmarked you as someone they would like to work with when you follow up and ask them to. And, for those who believe in Universal Law, people randomly call you and give you money with ease WHEN YOU ARE IN ACTION. The actual flow will often come from a completely different direction than you expected, but the flow comes when you are in action.   Now, the main reason I believe that entrepreneurs don’t follow up is that they are trying to do too much and it falls through the cracks.   I get it, I’m an overachiever too. We kind of have to be as entrepreneurs. But we can’t do it all and it’s not in our highest good to try to. Rather, we are better served choosing a few streamlined things and doing them well.   Four Reasons We Let It Fall

  1. We are on to the next thing, having booked our schedule too full. When you are scarcity minded you will think that you just have to keep doing and adding rather than assuming that your perfect next clients are right there in the room you just sponsored!
  2. We see the people we meet as names and email addresses, not actual human beings who are open to conversation and could actually use us.
  3. We aren’t willing to sacrifice. Now for most people I work with they will quickly sacrifice themselves and their own well-being, but they aren’t willing to sacrifice some of the lower energy expectations they have from others. They want to still be all things to all people, rather than setting boundaries in their life to prioritize this business they are creating.
  4. We don’t have the right support. If an entrepreneur is writing the content of the follow up, programming it in their email system, and setting up all of the technology involved in their free class they are offering and also making sales calls, it is very difficult to stay on top of all of that.

Quick Tips for Sponsor Follow-Up

  1. Schedule the time in after the event to follow up. I know it can seem as if you will just fit it in when you can. But seriously, you invested a ton to get in front of the right people – nothing can be more important than making the most of that investment. Block out your calendar for the 2-3 days after – no client work, no hair appointments.
  2. Use technology to deliver a strategic sequence of messages. Map it out and get it set up before you get to the event so all that is left is to enter the names. If you are like me, you may get inspiration to change messages based on who you meet at the event and what you yourself are experiencing by being there. That is great! And either save those messages, add them into your sequence, or be sure you know how to go in and edit the messages on the fly. But set them up.
  3. Flag your hottest prospects at the booth. Ideally you’ll schedule calls with folks while you’re at your booth (make it easy for them to get on your calendar). Be sure to bring a sharpie that can write on all business cards, and create your own system for marking people’s cards so you can call the people you made a connection with first.
  4. Calling is always the best. Simply call people. Ask how they are. Ask what they took away from the event. Ask what they still need. Help to identify their ‘gap.’ (If you need sales coaching, let me know!)
  5. Create an easy “yes” and ask them to participate. In the week or so following the event, host a teleclass or webinar live, and invite your new people to participate. It will allow them to get used to you asking them to do things and will increase their engagement with your brand. It creates a sense of urgency as your training is happening at a specific time. Be sure to have an engaging title, and content that compliments or builds on what they just learned at the event.
  6. Have Fun! No one likes to hear from a stressed out sponsor! Enjoy your new connections and have fun with the fact that you have just taken a big step toward creating your own economy!

Prioritizing your marketing activity is key. Each thing you do needs to be done full out and with complete, deliberate, intention. When you do that, you truly do not have to do everything. I’ve built a half-million dollar business by doing a limited number of activities in full belief that they would ‘work,’ and you can too. (And sponsoring a small number of big events has been one of them!)   If you are filling your plate too full and not deliberately choosing how to use your resources, join me for my new virtual mastermind “Master Your Economy” on May 28th.  

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