With TRAFFIC Vegas behind us I am deep in follow-up after a productive week of back-to-back-to-back meetings. When I first started my company I did a pretty bad job with follow-up after a conference. I would collect a ton of business cards, wait a month or two until I had forgotten who everyone was, and then look at each card trying to figure-out who each person was and what we had talked about. Since I was going to conferences without any goals besides “learn cool things in the seminars” that’s about all I was left with.
Now I come to conferences with a full meeting schedule and clear objectives and when I leave a conference I follow-up with everyone I met with. This not only maximizes the value you get from your meetings, it also is the foundation behind which real relationships are made rather than the ones where you clink beers and smile at each other.
Since I know that many of you are also coming back from TRAFFIC I thought I’d share the spreadsheet that I use to keep track of my follow-up. The main things I track are who I met with, what the main objective of our meeting was, and most importantly what the next steps are. When I meet with people I want to learn more about them, find where the synergy is between us, and then, most importantly, act on it.
So if you’re drowning in a sea of business cards I recommend you use the same spreadsheet that I use to keep track of follow-up and action plans after a conference. You can download the spreadsheet that I use myself and spend 30 minutes getting organized, then move forward and make it happen.