Cultivate a New Connection

Thinking about growth? Getting into the supply chain of big corporations can boost your business. Getting certified as a Woman Business Owner (WBE) is the first step in the process of connecting you to new supply chains.

The annual Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Conference and Business Fair provides an opportunity to access companies that are looking to purchase from diverse suppliers. In 2014, the conference is taking place in June in Philadelphia, PA.

Registering and attending the conference is just the first step. You want to stand out to get on the Supplier Diversity Manager’s radar; but at the same time, make sure you’re not displaying overbearing stalker tendencies. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you determine the level of appropriate follow up:

DO…ask your contact HOW they would like you to follow up with them. Different people like to communicate in different ways. If you get to know their preferred way of communicating (be it by phone, email, or appointment) you are more likely to successfully engage with them.

DO…ask your contact WHEN you should follow up with them.When people get back from a conference they are often overwhelmed with work they have missed while they were away. It is better to wait a couple of weeks after a conference before you try to engage with someone. There is no harm in asking when they would like you to follow up.

DO…help them remember YOU. Give them a reminder of who you are and what you do. They have met so many people during the conference, you’ll likely need to help them out a bit.

DO…set a reminder for WHEN to follow up again. If you don’t set a reminder, your everyday work will take precedence and you may forget to follow up or forget when you last followed up.

DON’T…follow up too much. Emailing someone every week is TOO MUCH follow up! Once a quarter or once every few months is a good rule of thumb for keeping on someone’s radar.

Good luck on your follow up!

For additional information on connecting to top tier buyers from major corporations, contact: Kath Britton, Business Advisor at Women’s Enterprise Centre at

Kath Britton

Kath Britton is a Contract Business Advisor for Women’s Enterprise Centre. Kath assesses loan applications and works directly with women business owners to provide one-on-one complimentary business guidance.

See all posts by Kath

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