Follow up Makes the Difference

You’ve just returned from a networking event. You met some people that could potentially help you accomplish your networking objectives and have several business cards. Good for you. Now what do you do?

Effective follow up can reinforce the positive first impression you made on those people and will help you begin to establish some potentially mutually beneficial networking relationships. Here are five simple strategies:

1.  Send a follow up note immediately. Indicate you enjoyed your brief chat at the event and will follow up with a phone call shortly to continue the conversation.

2.  An email note is fine – fast, simple and cheap. But how many emails do you get in a day? Instead, consider sending a hand-written note card or post card. It’s also simple, cheap and it really stands out in a stack of snail mail. Just make sure it doesn’t look like a marketing piece. Hand writing the address and even the return address will help.

3.  Double down on your positive impressions – send an email note for immediacy and the snail mail note for impact.

4.  If you call first, do three things in the first 15 seconds that most amateur networkers don’t do: Quickly reintroduce yourself and reference where you met. Ask if this is a good time for a brief chat. Then, most importantly … pause for the person to digest what you just said and respond accordingly.

5.  After that conversation, suggest another brief call. Don’t press for a meeting too early. You’re not sure yet if that would be worth the time. Neither is the other person. You already initially connected face-to-face anyway, so wait for the additional face time. You’ll know when it makes sense.

These simple yet very effective follow up strategies will definitely reinforce your positive first impression with uncommon courtesy and class and differentiate you from the pack. Happy Networking!