Regular readers know that I frequently engage in lively discussions with several LinkedIn groups. A recent posting asked about ideas for following up on business cards gathered at networking events. Some excerpts from my comments:
- I only get cards from people I want to get to know better – people I think I can help or who might be able to help me.
- Don’t give your card to anyone! Really! Wait for people to ask for one. If they don’t and you really want them to have one, ask if you can give them your card. A simple little difference, but it sends out a very clear – and positive – message.
- I send an email to each person I want to get to know better, asking for a good time to follow up on our brief conversation started at the event, but I don’t send any marketing information unless that person asked for something.
- Here’s a different twist on the typical tactic after a networking event of asking for an in-person follow up chat. Since I’ve already met the person and established a minimal ‘hi touch’ connection, I respect their time and mine by suggesting we begin a more detailed and convenient email or phone dialogue. As that conversation evolves, the need for and value in another in-person meeting becomes more obvious.