How to Manage and Maximize Your Business Relationships – Darnyelle A. Jervey

When busy entrepreneurs network without a system, they lose key prospects and strategic partners in the shuffle. Although all would agree that networking is essential to growing a small business; most would equally agree that following up can present a serious nightmare for those who are not prepared for the influx of contacts that can meet over the course of one week.

As a business coach who teaches one of the essential marketing streams for your business is networking, I have helped my clients to develop a systematic approach to managing new contacts so that they can maximize their relationships and keep Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA)

Here are my tips and an assignment to help you do the same:

1. When you are meeting a prospect for the first time, be sure that when you’ve walked away from them to make notes on their business card. Doing so will help you later as you sift through all the cards you collected to determine who are ideal client prospects or potential strategic partners for your business.

2. Have stationary made with your company logo, tagline and contact information so it becomes effortless for you to send a quick hand written note to your prospect or new connection.

3. Make sure you make the first contact within 48 hours. This contact should be with a personal touch – meaning refrain from sending an email. Most people’s inbox is already overflowing with requests that seldom get reviewed. Your goal should be to stand out from the crowd and using a handwritten note, personal phone call (even if they don’t answer, leave a voice mail) or use video messaging to get and keep their attention while extending your reach in the TOMA category in their minds.
4. Within 2 weeks, you should be in touch with a hot connection again, this time to deepen that initial contact – with coffee, lunch, a conference call, or other type of meeting….you should be prepared, having done your due diligence. You should have fully researched their company and identified ways that you can help them based on your product and/or service as well as how they can help you (if a strategic partnership is the goal).
5. Your next touch point and each subsequent touch point should occur within 2 months. Perhaps you are just touching base with them via telephone or you send them an article that reminded them of a previous conversation the two of you entertained together. The point is, you want to remain on their radar so as soon as they develop the problem that you solve – or someone they know does, you are the only solution that comes to mind.

Your assignment:

Look through the business cards you collected last week and sort them in three categories:

1. Ideal prospect
2. Strategic partner
3. Not a good contact for me or anyone I know

Once sorted, prepare your follow up strategy by asking yourself the following questions:

1. How is this a good contact for me?
2. What do I have to offer this contact?
3. What does this contact have to offer me?
4. What follow up strategy will I use to stay connected to them?
5. How will I stand out from the crowd in my interactions with them?

Repeat until you have a full blown plan for each new contact for that week and do the same thing each week going forward.

©2011 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, The Incredible Factor Business Mentor and Coach, is the founder of Incredible One and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System® a proven step by step program for turning your passion into profit. For more information and a FREE audio download “How to Use Your Incredible Factor to Attract MORE Ideal Clients” visit

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