Whether you work in sales or have a job that simply involves meeting with a lot of people, you likely spend a lot of time looking to grow your network. A real estate agent, for example, may want to spend time meeting new clients at show flats and expanding their network of real estate peers. 

Meanwhile, a wedding planner probably attends conventions, trade fairs, and expos to meet prospective customers and connect with vendors to use in future ceremonies.

Even if these events don’t have large audiences, you’ll likely end the event with a stack of business cards or numbers in your phonebook. Then you’ll leave the event, ready to connect with those new contacts.

Sounds pretty straightforward, right?

Except in our experience, that’s where so many things start to go wrong. 😱

We see three huge mistakes in particular that can prevent you from connecting with your new contacts – and getting the most out of opportunities that networking with them can offer you.

Here are the top three mistakes you may be making when networking – and how to fix them. 🚧

1. 💨 You lose your new contacts

For many of us, networking is an important – but very small piece – of the tasks we have to do at work every day. Our schedules are full, and our days get busy. It’s easy to see how on the way home or back to your office, you can drop a few of those business cards in the car.

Or, maybe you slip them into a pocket you don’t check for a few months.

Remember: If you don’t reach out to your new contacts, it’s like you never went to the networking event at all

This may not seem so bad, especially if the business cards are still with you or simply hidden within your belongings. But if you don’t reach out to the people whose contact information is on those cards, you never do anything with that connection.

It’s as if you never went to the networking event and met these people at all. That’s a lot of wasted time and effort you just spent at this event!

How to Fix It ✅

To save time and effort, store contact details in your phone as soon as someone gives them to you. Their name and number is enough!

It’s easy to lose a business card – it’s much more difficult to lose contacts in your phone.

2. ⏰ You’re waiting too long to reach out to your new contacts

Let’s say, after that long day of networking, you have to do other tasks. So, you put off contacting the people you just met. You say you’ll do it tomorrow.

Or the day after that.

Or many days after that.

The next thing you know, a week or two has passed since your event.

That time may not seem to be very long for you – after all, you have plenty to do inside and outside of work that keeps you busy. But even a few hours is enough time for someone else to land a sale or strike up a partnership that could have been yours. 

How to Fix It ✅

Remember: waiting costs you sales and opportunities! 💸 Message your contacts on the spot while you’re still at the networking event. That way, you’ll be in their phones – and on their minds – as soon as possible.

This will help them remember you for opportunities now and in the future.

3. ❌ You reach out to your new contacts in the wrong way

Maybe you’re entering your new contacts into your phone as soon as you speak to them and messaging them right after, but no one is replying to you.

What’s going on? Haven’t you done everything you were supposed to do?

Remember that people you meet at networking events are often just as busy as you are. They may not be able to check their messages while they’re speaking with other people. They probably have things to do after the event too!

When your new networking contact checks their messages, a message like “Hi, this is [Your Name]” is easy to ignore. It doesn’t help them remember who you are or how you met. After all, your new contact has met a lot of people today! Some of those people may even share your name.

Give your new contact a reason to want to get back to you

Think about your phone. You likely receive many calls and texts from unknown numbers all day long. You probably ignore them.

This can also be what’s happening to you if you’re reaching out with a generic message.

How to Fix It ✅

Give your new contact a reason to want to get back to you. Use your first outreach text to tell them who you are and why they were speaking with you.

Make sure your message includes these three things:

  1. Your name
  2. The event where you met them
  3. A short description of what you both talked about
Above, you see that the message on the phone on the left could have come from anyone, including a spammer. Meanwhile, the first message in the conversation on the right provides much more context. And that’s why it gets a reply!

Make sure to end that message on an open-ended note. This will encourage your new contact to reply or reach out when they have an opportunity for you.

👆 How to speed up networking and initial outreach with just a few taps

Now you know how to fix the top three mistakes people make at networking events! But this doesn’t mean that you’ll need to spend more time on manual work. Here’s a way to simplify and speed up the outreach process.

Trying to make a great first impression with new contacts, maybe with food and drinks at the event, may seem difficult if you’re supposed to be messaging them on the spot.

That’s where Privyr can help!

​​Before your networking session, you can use the Privyr app to edit a single template message just for that event.

With Privyr, you can edit the template message before the event, so you arrive ready to message your new contacts via WhatsApp (or other apps) in a few taps.

With Privyr’s Quick Add & Send Message feature, you simply need to put in your new contact’s name and number to send that template message through WhatsApp, iMessage, or SMS. The message can even be auto-personalised for your new contact, in just a few taps.

Here’s an example of how the Quick Add & Send Message feature works:

The next time you attend a networking event, you can quickly add and message new contacts on the spot with just a few taps on the Privyr app. That way, you don’t have to interrupt your conversations with other people.

Privyr will save your contacts, as well as a timeline of when you messaged them, so you don’t need to keep track of anything yourself.

With Privyr, it’s super quick and easy to add, message, and follow up with contacts who can help you achieve your goals now or later – whether that means landing your next sale or simply growing your career.

💬 How to keep your conversation going, long after the networking event is over

Now that you know how to make a stellar first impression at your next networking session 🌟, you might be interested in tips on keeping that relationship warm after the event!

Make sure you’re using the 10-Second Rule of Messaging every time you reach out to your connections – whether that’s the first or the hundredth message.

This way, you can have conversations people want to reply to!

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Kylee became a writer out of unbridled curiosity for the world. Forever fascinated with the exchange between people and technology, she will talk your ear off about science and science fiction.