Most insurance advisors don’t follow up simply because the contacts they make at an event or holiday party don’t present themselves as prospects – because they’re not prospects. If a contact you make does present themselves as a prospect (“Yes, I’m in the market for life insurance”), well, then, you’ll know it. And you’ll know how to follow up. Am I right?
Networking is all about learning and helping people. By doing so, people will help you right back. Networking is not about selling a product or service. So when advisors don’t follow up with a great contact, it’s because they don’t recognize the potential value of the connection. If they connect with someone who presents themselves as a prospect (“Yes, I’m in the market for life insurance”), however, then follow-up always happens.
It boils down to a lack of networking knowledge. The bottom line is that networking is about relationships. If you don’t follow up with great contacts, you won’t be able to develop important relationships. Good agents know it; great agents do it.
There are actually four phases of networking.
- Preparation. Doing your homework before an event
- Presentation. What you say and do at the event
- Follow-up. What you do after the event
- Maintenance. What you do to maintain connections made at events
The follow-up should always come at the end of the presentation phase. If there is a reason to follow up, mention it during the business card exchange and be clear about why it makes good sense for that person to get back in touch with you.
Suggest a time frame (whenever possible, follow up within 24 hours or during the next business day) and next steps. I say something like, “I don’t want to take up your networking time here. Would you be interested in continuing our conversation at another time?”