How many times have you heard that the meeting after the meeting is where the real business happens? I am a true believer in the meeting after the meeting. All too often we are too quick to run from one networking meeting to the next and we’ll turn down an invite to grab a quick cup of coffee or to just hang around and talk to a few people as the meeting breaks up. I like telling folks I’d like to connect with that a few of us are going for coffee and they are welcome to come along. The conversations at those meetings are always helpful and most often turn into more than one great business connection/opportunity.
Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the meeting after the meeting:
1. Identify who you would like to connect with early and ask them to stay after the meeting for a few minutes to connect or to meet at a nearby location for coffee. If people pre-register, ask for the meeting ahead of time via text or email.
2. Arrive early and linger after. Welcome people as they are arriving and talk with people as they are leaving. Be one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave.
3. If there is a speaker or special guest at the event take a few minutes to introduce yourself after the event. Be sure to ask any questions you might have and show them that you are sincerely interested in what they have to share. Hang around as other people ask questions and you’ll be amazed at what you learn.
Here are some tips for the meeting after the meeting:
4. Ask a lot of questions about them and take notes. Think of creative ways you might be able to work together or use one another’s services.
5. Think of people you can connect them with that may be interested in their services or partnering with them.
6. Set the next meeting if you want to know more or if you want to explore working together.
Here’s a tip for after the meeting after the meeting
7. Send a thank you email, confirm your next appointment, and send any introduction emails you may have offered.
The purpose of the meeting after the meeting is to schedule the next meeting. When you approach every meeting as an opportunity to just get to know more about the 2-3 of attendees you open up more opportunity to grow your business and to serve others, and to set the next appointment.