Lori Hil Contributor Forbes.com Feb 1, 2018, 09:00am 4,426 views
While a beautifully handwritten “P.S. I love you” from a mailed letter may represent a bygone era, the digital version is often underutilized real estate. Networking from your inbox? 132 billion. It is a big number to wrap your head around but that is how many business emails are sent each day according to a report from The Radicati Group Inc. But there is something important missing from so many of those emails, says Ivan Misner, Ph.D., a leading networking expert, founder of Business Network International and author of Networking Like A Pro. A hidden gem of potential.
What’s missing, Misner says, is your P.S. Yes, that postscript added after a letter is ended and signed. While a beautifully handwritten “P.S. I love you” from a mailed letter may represent a bygone era, the digital version is often underutilized real estate. Misner says, Adding a ‘P.S.’ to your signature line gives you an extra space to include an important message that will help you land more business. I’m shocked more people don’t do this.”
Misner gives an example of a friend who is a motivational speaker who utilizes this P.S. in every email, “P.S. If you know anyone who needs an event speaker in the areas of marketing, mindset and personal achievement, I’d appreciate it if you would mention my name. Thanks!” Simple and to the point. Does it work? Yes. A few big speaking gigs have come just from this simple email addition.
Why does a P.S. email line work? Misner lists multiple benefits to the approach: Adding a P.S. can help you display a message that wouldn’t come up naturally in your emails. You can add something funny or unique that will make you memorable. It can provide a call to action, especially if you include a link to your product or service that you’re selling. Lori Hil: What can senders do to make this approach even more effective? Ivan Misner: Now, if you really want to kick it up a notch, then consider changing your message every two or three months.
This can be especially useful for people who work in industries that are seasonal. In March, you’re asking for one type of referral, and then in June, you’re mentioning a different one. Furthermore, this helps keep your message fresh and gets people to pay attention to your email signature! Hil: In addition to utilizing the P.S., you talk about keeping up with connections and social capital. What is most important when it comes to contacts? Misner:
The key to improving your social capital isn’t the number of contacts you make. What’s important is making contacts that become lasting relationships. Imagine if you were putting together a marketing plan for the coming year and you called five close friends to ask them for help — in the form of either a referral or new business. Now, imagine cold-calling 10 people for the same reason. You’ll most likely have better luck with your close friends.
Hil: Relationships are important. How can you deepen your relationships with contacts and improve your social capital?
Misner: Give your clients a personal call. Find out how things went with the project you were involved in. Ask if there’s anything else you can do to help. Important: Do not ask for a referral at this point. Call all the people who have referred business to you. Ask them how things are going. Try to learn more about their current activities so you can refer business to them. List 50 people to stay in touch with. Include anyone who has given you business in the last 12 months (from steps 1 and 2) as well as any other prospects you’ve connected with recently. Send them cards on the next holiday. Follow up. Two weeks after you’ve sent cards to your contacts, call them and see what’s going on. If the contact is a former client or just someone you’ve talked to before, now might be the perfect time to ask for a referral. If it’s a prospect you’re calling, perhaps you can set up an appointment to have coffee and find out if their plans might include using your services. Social capital is the international currency of networking, especially business networking. After just a few weeks of putting these steps in motion you should have more than enough social capital to tap into the rest of the year.
You can visit Ivan Misner at Business Network International for more networking tips. Lori is a Business to Millennial writer at lorihil.com, digital nomad, and Chihuahua mom. Follow her on Forbes, Twitter, and LinkedIn for Business and Life Inspiration.