5 Strategies for Turning Networking Acquaintances Into Customers

January 16, 2017

2:30 pm

Everyone sings the praising of networking. Whether its shaking hands at industry events or trading business cards at tech conferences, entrepreneurs around the world swear by this helpful strategy for making business connections. But if you can’t turn this connection into actual sales, what’s the point?

We asked five entrepreneurs about how they successfully turn a lead from a social or networking event into a customer? Check out their answers below and make sure you are making the most of your networking opportunities:

Follow Up Immediately

It is always astonishing to me how many people collect business cards and never use them. Follow up with you potential customer right away, ideally referencing something unique about your meeting with them so they know it isn’t an auto-generated message. And then keep them updated on your business as you get great press and hit other milestones.

– Lisa Curtis of KuliKuliFood

Ask Questions and Offer Insight

We create lasting relationships in two different ways. Ask questions about what keeps them up at night and how you can solve concerns that fall in your wheelhouse. Secondly, ask who you know that can enhance a newly engaged person/company’s offerings. We find that when we can close a loop with a new relationship, the willingness to return increases tenfold.

– Nick Franci of the Franchise Group

Be Persistent

To be successful in sales, you must “date” your customers so to speak. Just like any relationship, most of the time you don’t get the end result the first time you meet. Send your prospect thank you cards, birthday cards, Christmas gift, etc. Over time you’ll see that this speaks volume about how you work compared to everyone else. I promise it will end in more sales conversions.

– Steven Newlon of SYN3RGY Creative

Stay Connected

The best thing you could possibly do is stay connected. Once you have made the connection, at whichever event it may have been, follow up with a phone call. Send a follow-up email addressing all of the needs and concerns they have voiced to you. If you don’t follow up, you are essentially leaving money on the table.

– Robert Gerov of VOKSEO

Offer Exclusive Deals

People love feeling like they’re part of an elite camp, so giving people exclusive offers or discounts for following your social channels can be a great way to generate new leads. And if you’re trying to generate a lead from a specific customer, my best advice is to simply be likable. Think about the traits you love in a person, and convey those to the people you interact with.

– Steven Buchwald of Buchwald & Associates

FounderSociety is an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.

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FounderSociety is an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.