Episode #173 Following Up After Networking

September 12, 2023

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You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 173.

Welcome to My Freedom Grove Podcast, your calm space for practical help to get your dream business up and running while being authentically you and taking care of your mental health. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. I'm so glad you're here!


Hi, My Strong Friends. 


All right, here I am. It's like four days before the Networking Extravaganza. So when you hear this, it'll just be a few days after it happens. So yeah, we were up to the minute in all of the fun and excitement. 


It is quite the undertaking to plan something so big. I rented out a whole nightclub and restaurant and am anticipating up to 200 people at this event. So the amount of collaboration that went into this event is huge, because not only did I have Jillene and I collaborating, but we also have some facilitators helping us with different activities. And we have a ton of sponsors. 


I can't wait to tell you about all of the sponsors and give them a shout out. So you'll hear that in a future podcast episode because we want to try to keep some of it a surprise, but it is going to blow some people's socks off. 


Let's talk about following up after networking. So networking can happen on a large scale, like a big event where there's a thousand people or maybe even a couple hundred. It can also happen on smaller scales where there's just maybe ten or thirty people in an event. And it can also happen with just one individual at a time. You may get direct messages or emails or phone calls, like some people still use the phone to actually call people. How do you make sure that you're following up so that you don't miss opportunities? 


In this episode, we're gonna go over five different things. First, we're going to talk about the overwhelm that you might feel over all of the new people that you want to follow up with. We're also going to go over feelings, because feelings come up when it comes to following up. And then we're going to talk about memory. How do you remember the people that you actually want to follow up with? 


And then how do you get organized so that you can actually do all of this and fit it into your day, and still be able to run your business and have a great life. And then finally, we're going to talk about collaboration follow up, because that's a little bit different. Because now it's not just following up with a friend or following up with someone that's a potential client, or that you're a potential client for someone. Now, it's a collaboration and collaborations can get a little bit more involved. So we'll get into those details. 




First, let's talk about overwhelm. How many people do you tend to talk to when you go to these networking events, or even if you tend to get just direct messages or emails or those phone calls, sometimes you can get overwhelmed. Sometimes even if it's just one, you can feel overwhelmed. I know I've been there. So okay, we don't have to feel bad about getting overwhelmed by having to return one person's call or text. 


Okay, so what do you do when you feel overwhelmed? Overwhelm is a feeling. And we know from the mindset model, that our feelings come from our thoughts, and our beliefs. And all of our thoughts and beliefs are always optional, which means that if you're feeling overwhelmed, you can ask yourself, 

What's the thought that I'm having about this? 


And what is this to start with? 


Get specific on this circumstance. 


How many people do you want to follow up with? How many are on your list? 


What thoughts are you having that's leading to those feelings of overwhelm? 


Because the way that you can get rid of that overwhelm and calm yourself down, is to challenge the thought that you're having. Because that thought, it's not helping you. Because as much as overwhelm might feel like it's a good motivator. It's not. It's actually going to slow you down. 


It's gonna make everything that you do seem a lot harder. You're gonna want to give up. You're gonna want to go buffer with scrolling through social media or something else. And if it's social media, you might start seeing the names of the people you want to follow up with. And that can trigger even more because you most likely, if you're feeling overwhelmed, you're not going to reach out to them at that exact moment when you see them. 


Instead, it's just going to trigger more of those thoughts that were leading to overwhelm. 




What are some thoughts that you can have that would give you a different feeling? 


What feeling would you actually want to have? 


I know that one of my default feelings that I like to have is just calm. But I also know that overwhelm sometimes comes from a feeling of fear. And a feeling that works really well to counteract fear is love. So if you're feeling overwhelmed, what if you were to switch into a feeling of love? And what thought could you have that could create some love around that circumstance? 


Something that, that helps me is that I'm thinking, they're feeling just as overwhelmed as I am. So it's like, I have compassion for them, love for them. And that helps to ease some of my overwhelm. I'm also thinking, it's okay, I love myself, I can spread this out, so that I can give myself some quality time to make sure that I know exactly what it is that I want to talk about with this person. 


I may also reflect on thinking, the interaction that we had was so good, they're going to remember this for weeks. So even if I don't reach out for a couple of weeks, that's going to be okay, because they had a lot going on in their life, and they will still remember our conversation because it was so good. And we connected so well. 


What are some thoughts that you can have that can either generate feelings of love, or generate feelings of calm, just so that you can get out of that overwhelm? Because again, if you don't get out of the overwhelm, you're gonna make this so much harder, and you're gonna want to go buffer to try to calm yourself down. Instead, we want you moving forward and taking some actions, but you need different thoughts or beliefs, so you can feel differently. 




Okay, so let's talk about some of the other feelings that can pop up. Rejection can feel bad. And rejection can happen in two different ways. So one is if you think that the other people are going to follow up with you, especially if during the conversation, they told you, they were going to follow up with you, and then they don't. 


That can lead to feelings of rejection, maybe even disappointment. But again, you have full control over this, you can always reach out to them, if they were that good of a connection, and you really, really want to continue building that relationship, reach out to them, even if they didn't reach out to you. It doesn't necessarily mean that they didn't want to, it could just mean that they didn't have time, or maybe they got overwhelmed, and they didn't have anyone to let them know that they could actually change that feeling to something else. 


Now, what if you're looking through all of the names, and all of a sudden you realize that there's some that you thought you wanted to follow up with in the moment, but now that you're looking at it, you're like, No, I actually don't. And you're starting to judge yourself for being selective like that. 


Again, judgment, that's a feeling. It's coming from a thought that you're having about yourself for making that decision. That thought is optional. You can think anything you want to. So perhaps you might be deciding, yeah, that connection wasn't nearly as strong as I thought it was. And now, I don't really think we have anything in common. The other person might be having those same exact thoughts. And if they aren't, they can also reach out and try to connect with you. It doesn't all have to rest on your shoulders. 


Now what about if you're worried that you're going to hurt their feelings, that's where that mindset model helps. We know that their feelings come from their thoughts. And as much as you might want to try to control their thoughts, so that you can control their feelings. You can't. And if you've ever done something super nice for someone and all of a sudden they got mad at you, you'll understand. 


You can't always predict how people are going to have thoughts and what feelings they're going to have. Because you showed up doing the thing that you thought was going to give them the thoughts and feelings you wanted them to have. 


Same thing with networking is you might be worried about hurting someone's feelings. But really, you can't control their thoughts or their feelings one way or another. In fact, they might be absolutely loving on you, even though you haven't followed up. 




Okay, third thing let's go over memory. So you've probably met a lot of people. If you're anything like me, a little memory-challenged at times. How are you going to help yourself to remember them? And how will you help them to remember you? Because you might have a great memory, or you might have taken a lot of notes. And then you're now reaching out to them, and you know, all this stuff. And they can't even remember if they even met you or not, again, don't take it personal. They probably met a lot of people too. 


But how can you help to bring those memories back for both of you? What are some pieces of the conversations? Where were you standing? What event did it happen after? Like, maybe there was a lunch break during a full session. You could share, Oh, yeah, it was right after lunch break, right after everybody made that stampede to the bathroom, and we went and we met outside by a coffee pot. Or we met by the orange balloon, you know, whatever it might be. Those kinds of visual cues can help someone to remember. And they almost can go back in that place to go, ‘Oh yeah, I remember being there with you.’ 


Or if you remember things about the conversation, you can share, ‘Oh, yeah, remember, we were talking about this, that or the other thing.’ Or if they happen to give you something of theirs, like a business card or something, you could just show that to them. And that might even trigger their memory. 


I personally like to use apps to help me if I can. And if you were at the Coaching Posse Networking Extravaganza, you got to experience the brand new Connection Portal. So this is an app that allows you to stay in contact with the people that you just met, you were able to scan their QR codes, it brought up their own personal profile. You're able to add in different tags. You were able to add in any notes, all of that, just stuff that you can see. 


But then you can go back into the Connection Portal. And you can filter based on the tags that you had. And also you're able to mark them as a connection. So you might have had hundreds of people that were there in person where you can meet them, and they're showing up in the Connection Portal app. But because you said yep, they’re a connection. 


Now you have a subset of all of those people. And these were the ones that you wanted to follow up on. And you happen to take notes to help you out. 


When I was at the Small Business Expo, they had an app that also allowed you to take some notes. Now they're tags that they allowed, it was just cold, warm and hot, you couldn't tag on anything else. But you could write notes, which was pretty cool. And then they let you download all of the people that you had scanned that day into a big spreadsheet that showed their name, all of their contact information, plus all of the notes that you had. 


But if you don't happen to have an app that you kept all those notes, hopefully you kept notes, either on your phone. I sometimes will screenshot someone's Facebook profile after I've met them. And then I'll type notes over that screenshot so I can remember. And then of course, there's just good old fashioned note taking. Hopefully, you had something to write on. And you took some notes about different people. 


Do those things to help jog your memory. And then when you're getting ready to talk with them, have it very specific as to what's the thing that you're going to share that helps to jog everybody's memory. 




Okay, now let's talk about getting organized. 


Now, you may have a little bit of people to contact or you might have a lot, how do you organize this so that you can do this in a nice calm manner? Again, we're trying to make sure there's not overwhelm, so if the mind-work didn't work, organization usually does. 


I like to try to look at all of the people that I met and figure out, ‘who are they, to me’–– Are they a potential client? Are they a potential mentor? Are they a potential service provider? Maybe they have something that I need help with? And I want to potentially hire them? Could they be a network partner, like we can refer people to each other? And then finally, are they an opportunity provider or a collaborator? 


An opportunity provider could be someone that is going to be putting on an event and they need speakers at some point, or they need breakout workshop facilitators. Maybe they're writing a book and they need people to contribute interviews or chapters. Or maybe they're a podcast host,, and you're just swapping different podcast interviews. If they're a collaborator, this might be something even bigger, because you get to create anything. It's pretty fun. 


Who are the people to you if you have all of your people in front of you, figure it out and maybe sort them into these different groups of who they are to you. 


Now, as you look at each of them, think about what's your specific intent with them? What do you want to have happen with them? 


Is this someone that you just want to develop a friendship with? Great, make sure that you know that that's what your intent is with them. 


If it's someone else that you intend to present a collaboration to, then have that. 


If they’re a network partner, where you want to do the referral?


Make sure that you write some notes to yourself so that when you're having the conversation, you remember what your intent is with that person. 


Now that you know who the people are, what your intent is with them. 


Now, you're going to think about your timing. So if you're looking at everything that's going on in your business in your life, what's the thing that is most important to you right now. So you have all of those intents down, which intent needs to happen first, to help you in your business. So might be a big obstacle that's getting in the way of you even having your business work at all, maybe those are the people that you need to talk with. 


Or if you're looking for some kind of a development on your skill set. It's one particular skill set that has been holding you back. And you know, if you don't take care of it, now, the rest of your stuff isn't going to work, then you can prioritize that. So now you're prioritizing who you're going to contact in what timing. 


Now we're going to look at the calendar, and think about your bandwidth. How much time do you have to devote to conversations with people? So conversations could be written, they could be audio, they could be video, they could be live over a Zoom call. All of those are available to you. You don't always have to do a Zoom call with everybody. There's other ways that you can make this happen. 


But how much time is actually available to you? Because you need to keep your business running. And you need to take care of yourself and your mental and physical health to figure out how much time is available. And then how could you fit all of these people in, over the course of a week, a couple of weeks, a month, maybe several months? 


Now what if the person that you want to talk to you, don't have time to talk to them for like three weeks or more? Well, there are different ways that you can start the communication, because it doesn't mean that you have to have the big conversation now, you can just reach out and say, ‘Hey, that was really interesting. I'd love to get together, can we schedule a time in about three weeks.’ And that works out great, because then you get that commitment between the two of you, that agreement that you actually want to talk with each other, You know what it's about, and you've scheduled time when it does fit into your schedule. 




Now, what about if there's something great with them, but the doing of the thing doesn't work in your schedule anytime soon. 


Let's take for example, if you wanted to have a website built for you, you met someone who's an incredible website builder, but either you don't have the finances yet, or you don't have the time to devote to the project. And you're looking out over your schedule, and you're thinking, Oh, maybe like six, nine months from now, I will have the resources and the time available. 


Does that mean that you don't follow up with them now that you wait for six to nine months? Maybe not. Maybe it's just a, ‘Hey, I thought this was really great. And I think that you're the person that I want to go with. But I'm not going to be ready for this in six to nine months.’ 


And most people that you meet are not going to be the high pressure sales trying to convince you to do this right now. They're going to respect the timing, they're going to appreciate that you let them know that you're interested in their services. Then they can follow up with you here and they're just touching bases, not anything big because they already know when your timing is going to be. 




Alright, let's talk about the final one, which is following up with a collaboration partner. 


Collaboration partner, this means that you have at least two business owners that want to come together and do something together. So either create a product and service together, or they're creating any event or an activity or some part of their sales funnel, where they're doing it as a combined effort. 


Something that I find is really helpful is when both of those business owners have their business house in order. And what I mean by that is that they're very clear on who their ideal customer is, that they know exactly what their ideal customers need and want and desire, and that they have a solution that they already have built. It's already outlined. 


If there's infrastructure that needs to happen to support it, all of that's in place. And that all of the ways to actually purchase that product and service are in place and known there's processes around it, and that they already have an existing sales funnel. 


And it doesn't mean that it has to be a complicated sales funnel, it could be something really, really simple, but that they've actually done this a handful of times so that they know how to take someone from just meeting them all the way through a sale. 


Now I know that I mentioned, it's possible that these could be two people that are coming together to do a sales funnel thing together with each other. But if they're coming in having never created one, that's going to be a lot harder for the partnership to work. 


Because it might be that one person knows how to do it and the other person doesn't. So it's helpful if both of them at least know how to do a basic one for their own business. So at least they have some experience. 


When they come together, they can share those different experiences. And then they can figure out what's the thing that will work well for both of them that they actually enjoy doing. 


Now, the reason why I bring this up is because I've worked with a lot of entrepreneurs over the years, and especially like interviewing entrepreneurs, too, on my podcast, and I want to set them up for success. And it takes a lot of work to do my side of that collaboration, whether it's a podcast or something else takes a lot of work on my side. 


When somebody else comes and I want to help give them an opportunity, if they come unprepared, then I either have to tell them, No, it's not the right time. Or because that's just who I am, I like to help develop people, and it happens to be a service I provide


I have to actually help them get all of their business stuff in order first, before they can come on and collaborate with me. And so sometimes, since I've already put out that offer, it's not that they're hiring me for my services to help them get ready, it's more of doing them a favor to help them get ready so that now we can collaborate. 


And that doesn't always work out. Because if it's just like a little favor, where it's like 10-15 minutes, that's usually not a big deal. But if what they need is actually like hiring me for their service to get them all up and ready. It's not quite fair to that collaboration partnership, because I've put all my stuff on hold, I still have to do all of my work. And now I have to do extra work to help them get ready. 


If you find yourself in that situation where you don't have all of your stuff, but somebody has presented a great opportunity, that can be so hard because you don't want to miss the opportunity, right, like FOMO kicks in. 


And you might even have some scarcity kick in thinking, well, this opportunity is just gonna come around once in a lifetime, it's not going to be offered to me again. So I'm going to say yes. Even though you know, in the back of your mind, your business house is not in order. 


I'm asking you to please be honest and upfront with the people that have presented a collaboration opportunity with you and say, Oh, actually, what do I need to have ready in order to have that collaboration?" 


But typically, it's that you at least have a social media presence, hopefully a website that you already have your product and service figured out, you know who your ideal customer is and what they need, and that you've done at least one simple sales funnel. 


If you don't have that, let the other person know that yes, you do want to collaborate but you don't have your things in place yet. Come up with an idea of how long you think that would take you to get ready and let them know I can collaborate with you. But it'll be in this many months or whatever the timeframe may be. And then spend some time getting your business house in order. 




And that's something that I love to help people with. And I help people with that one on one but also with inside the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. And for those of you that went to the Coaching Posse Networking Extravaganza, you will know that I gave you a special gift inside of your goodie bag for coming into the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. 


For all of my other Strong Friends that are listening to this, I want you to know that the doors for this membership are open right now. You will be able to get your whole business house in order, get it up and running, where your business is actually working and you're making revenue and you're ready to do collaborations, which is another great thing about the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. 


Once a month we do a social call. So that's like a Brady Bunch style Zoom call. All the different entrepreneurs get on the line, they get to know each other, they're forming friendships, and they can explore collaboration opportunities, but you need to have your business house in order first. 


That's where I help you through courses and coaching, to get all of that all done and ready to go. And then your business can work and you can collaborate, and it's a beautiful thing. 




Okay, so just to recap on following up after you do networking, overwhelm is optional, you can pick different thoughts or beliefs, so that you don't have to feel overwhelmed, you can try going for something that creates love, or something that creates calm, really, it can be any feeling that you want, but those two tend to be good ones. So come up with different thoughts, so that you don't have to feel overwhelmed, because overwhelmed is going to slow you down. 


Your other feelings, any of the negative feelings, you can always control that and other people. And the things that you do, don't always necessarily happen for the other people. And make sure that you're being kind to yourself, don't judge yourself, don't be mean to yourself, if you don't have the bandwidth to follow up. It's just a time thing. It has nothing to do with you as a person. 


And then memory, what are all of the different memory jogging things that you can record at the time or that you can bring up in conversations to help both of you remember each other. 


And then all of those ways so that you can get organized, knowing who the person is to you, what your intent is with them, and then what your timing would be for following up with them. 


And then finally, collaboration. You know, I love collaboration. Get Your business house in order so that you can collaborate. And when you collaborate, things happen so much faster, and you can do bigger things, but come to the table ready for it. 


All right, my friends, I hope that you have a wonderful week. 


Follow up, create those relationships, develop them. All of the goodness is on the other side of relationships. 


All right, my friends. 


Have a great week. 


I'll talk with you soon. 


Bye bye.


Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove Podcast. When you are ready to make your dream business a reality and take care of your mental health, I invite you to join the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. This is the mastermind membership you've been waiting for. There's no limits on your imagination, nor your timeline. We're with you every step of the way. To learn more, please visit www.myfreedomgrove.com/join. I'll see you there!


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