Making connections in business are key, but nothing will happen with those connections if you don’t have a good follow up plan. Many people find the initial follow up is easy, but struggle with an effective long-term plan.
For those people, I recommend sports.
I recently returned from a large conference of female entrepreneurs with a stack of business cards. On the back of 5 cards, I made a note that person was a sports fan and jotted down the name of a team or player that we discussed during our initial meeting. That information allows me to send emails about something that business all year long. For example, one gal was a Minnesota Twins fan and an avid baseball watcher. You can bet I’ll be sending her an email when I head to Minnesota next month and she’ll be getting one from me when I happen to come across news about the Twins. And since the season is 6 months long, I’ve got plenty of chances.
The more connections points you have in a relationship the stronger it becomes and the more likely it becomes that business will occur.
Whether you’re an avid sports fan or not, being able to join the sports conversation gives you an advantage in follow up opportunities.
Here are a few of the hot topics in sports this week.
Olympics/NBA – Last week we mentioned that the USA Olympic basketball team was set, but it changed late in the week after an injury to Blake Griffin. Griffin injured his knee during practice last week and will undergo surgery. He’s expected to miss 8 weeks but should be ready in time for the start of NBA training camp. New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis will take his spot on the roster.
- Griffin is a physical player known for his ability to dunk. How does his injury impact Team USA?
- Does this change your feeling on having NBA players compete in the Olympics and risking injury for games not related to the NBA season?
PGA – The British Open starts Thursday. It’s one of golf’s “major” tournaments and you can bet all eyes are on Tiger Woods. His play has been up and down, winning more tournaments this year than any player on the tour, but he’s also missed the cut a couple times and played sporadically.
- Which Tiger will we see this week? Do you think he’ll be a factor?
- 15 different players have won the last 15 majors. Do you like the mystery and the parity in golf now?
MLB – Trade rumors heat up as the July 31 trade deadline approaches. This is the time of year where that are contending in their division trying to pick up additional talent for a playoff run. Teams that aren’t faring well look to trade away good players for future prospects. One of the biggest names mentioned as being on the trade block is Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates are among several teams reportedly interested in Justin. Where do you think he ends up?
- Is your team a buyer, seller or a team that’s going to stand pat at the trade deadline?
NFL – The New Orleans Saints and quarterback Drew Brees finally agreed to a contract extension. Brees signed a 5-year, $100 million contract Sunday. The $20 million average yearly salary is the most in the NFL. Brees set single season records last year in completions, passing yards and completion percentage. There was a time when there was a question mark as to whether the Saints would pony up big money for Brees.
- Given the uncertainty in New Orleans following ‘Bounty-gate,’ how much pressure do you think the Saints felt to sign their on-field leader?
As a footnote, you’ll see plenty more news about the late Joe Paterno and Penn State. Given the fact that it involves child abuse, it’s not the best sports topic to use to build rapport and relationships.
Jen Mueller, America’s Expert Talker, is a sports conversation strategist. She helps business professionals leverage sports conversations in business and helps fans and non-fans sound credible in every conversation. Her new eBook Get Noticed Get Heard and Get Paid is available for free. Download here.