Even with all these digital networking platforms, meeting people in real life is still the best way to form genuine relationships.
Going to networking events regularly is the key to opening up new opportunities and developing new relationships.
However, keeping track of the people you meet can feel impossible.
Business cards aren’t the answer, we have drawers full of them, but how often do we actually use them?
So how do you go about tracking your new connections?
How To Keep Track of Networking Contacts
Tracking relationships you build through networking events can be split into three phases for each event you go to:
- Pre-event preparation.
- During the event networking.
- Post-event organization.
Let’s take a look at what each phase should look like.
Before even stepping into the networking venue it’s best to set up networking goals on why you’re even attending the event.
Your goals may differ depending on the audience attending, the topic of the event, and who you’re expecting to meet.
The third being the most crucial, you’re going to the event to meet people.
Take the time to map out the audience that will attend the event (speakers, special guests, event attendees…) so that you know who you will approach at the event.
For example, a well-known investor is coming to a SaaS conference and you would like to meet them and eventually pitch your SaaS idea to them.
To make the job of tracking networking contacts easier, take the time to prepare your personal tracking system in advance:
In LeadDelta, you can create custom Tags for the specific event that will help you track contacts and their information. (In this example we’re tracking SaaStr, SLUSH, and SaaS North events)
During The Event
So you’re at the event, looking at your list of people that you want to meet and you’re coming up to them.
You’re chatting and you want to stay in contact with them for a later business proposition.
Here your phone and your notebook should be your best friend.
Take out your phone and add the person on LinkedIn along with jotting down the most important points from the conversation.
Focus on what you talked about, the promises you made of contacting them, and your thoughts about the conversation.
These notes will serve as reference points for your later contact organization.
Don’t stress too much about tracking your networking contacts during the event, the point of the event is to talk to people not be glued to your laptop.
The event is over and you come home. Now is the right time to organize your networking contacts for better tracking.
Open up your contact management software, in this case, LeadDelta, and sync it with the contacts you made at the event.
LeadDelta automatically updates with all of your new LinkedIn contacts.
Assign new networking contacts with the appropriate Tags (The event you met at and what they can do for you).
For example, you met them at SaaStr and they could be a potential investor in your business.
Update each contact with LeadDelta Notes you took while talking to them. These notes will forever be attached to that connection and help you remember what you talked about as well as your thoughts.
Set up action items based on what you promised with Tasks & Reminders.
For example, if you mentioned that you would contact them in a week. Set up a task attached to that specific contact to reach out to them.
By following these steps you can make sure that you’ll easily remember which event you met someone, what you talked about, and how you should approach them in further conversation.
Networking events are the bread and butter of relationship building, there’s no better way to get ahead than meeting people in real life.
However, keeping track of networking contacts is the part most people are missing out leading them to network mindlessly.
Setting up systems to track your networking contacts is what will differentiate you and set you on a path toward networking success.
Try out LeadDelta, your personal contact book and manager all in one place, dedicated to your networking efforts.