Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Advocacy Model: Follow Up

Once you have made a good connection the best way to follow up is to arrange a OnetoOne meeting to discuss things further.

These One2One meetings can often go wrong for 2 main reasons;
1. People use it as an opportunity to go straight into a sales pitch. Networking is NOT selling, the advocacy model for business networking is all about building relationships for the longer term. A good advocate will recommend you and your products and services time and time again without being asked or paid.
2. The meeting becomes a social chat with no agenda or purpose.

In order to get to the next stage the purpose of this meeting is to:
· Discuss mutual interests
· Validate your initial assessment (do you still like them?)
· Research their business
· Appraise qualification, experience, ability (your judgement)
· Balance potential value versus risk (your time)

If your assessment is positive then you need to undertake some actions in order to move into the forming relationship stage. With each you are extending more trust and helping your continued assessment:
· Invite them to a regular networking group you attend
· Introduce to a trusted contact
· Send some useful information to them

For more on the Advocacy Model of Business Networking see the following posts:
How to build trust in business relationships
Business Networking: The Advocacy Model
The Advocacy Model: Making a Contact

Good Networking!
Dave Clarke
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