Let’s assume you’ve just returned from networking at a professional association 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 and timely follow up will reinforce the positive first impression you made on those people and can help you establish mutually beneficial relationships. Here are some simple strategies based on the Best Practices the Networking Pros use.
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.
2. An email note is fine – fast, simple and cheap. But how many emails do you get in a day? Consider also sending a hand-written note or post card. It’s also simple, cheap and it really stands out in a stack of snail mail. So – emails for immediacy and hard copy notes for impact.
3. If you call first, do three things in the first 10 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.
4. 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. Earn the face time. You’ll know when it makes sense.
These simple yet very effective follow up strategies will definitely reinforce your positive first impression of uncommon courtesy and class and differentiate you from all the amateurs in the pack.