You know it’s good to follow up networking contacts, but struggle with time? I remember when I first went networking and was told the only way to get results was to have one to one meetings with everybody, regularly. What’s more it was expected that I would, as part of the group I was in. You were told “you never know who your networking contact knows“. Of course that’s true, but in the real world isn’t always practical. So is it time to revisit that impractical model?

Networking with A-listers as everybody is not equal

Based on the facts that:

  • Not everyone you meet will be equally important to you and your business
  • You don’t have time to spend with everybody
  • You need to know who are the most important people for you to meet.

Try using this simple classification system:

  • A-listers: These are contacts that are well connected to your target market, and are likely to help you immediately achieve your business or career goals; e.g. become a referral source, supplier, introducer, or strategic partner.
  • B-listers: These are contacts that you enjoyed meeting, but are unlikely to immediately help you achieve your business goals.
  • C-listers: These are contacts that you met, but are very unlikely to help you achieve your business goals. You probably don’t want to write them completely off though.

Now you can start to think about how you can keep in touch with the different categories, in different ways.

What for you is the most appropriate way and frequency, to keep in contact with your “A-listers”? Click here for more information about A-listers in business networking.

What will you do about your “C-listers”? You need to set a relevant process in place, that is relevant for you and your business, then execute that process continuously.

Maybe you need to think about the contact that your team have with networkers?  I’d recommend that you spend time with, agreeing on who or what makes up an A, B or C-lister for each person and team as a whole. Then agree on a process to introduce a new contact to the right member of the team.

If you want to some more ideas about networking, click here for business networking tips.

Written by Jon Baker The 5-50 Coach. I help professionals grow their firms from 5 to 50 employees, sustainably, profitably and still have fun. Have you got your "next step kitbag yet"? It's stuffed with guides, reports & templates helping you grow from 5 to 50 employees Click here for immediate access

Photo used under creative commons licence. For more information, click here.