Networking 101: The Follow-Up
You did it– you went to the networking event, or your college alumni weekend, or the business summit– and you met a few people you really hit it off with.
For most of us, new networking relationships often fizzle after the first contact. You might exchange business cards, but no initiates further contact or conversation. In her article “3 Things You Should Do Immediately After Meeting Someone” Kat Boogaard suggests three ways to continue building the new relationship rather than letting your new contact’s business card sit and collect dust.
- Take note. You just had a conversation with this person– what did they tell you? What did you learn? They might have told you a bit about where they are in their career, or perhaps they mentioned a few hobbies. Either way, if you don’t jot down a few notes in the moment it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t remember what the other person said three months from now. It can be quick, it can be brief, it can even be stored on your phone. The important thing is to take note somewhere.
- Set a reminder. We’re all busy, and remembering to follow up with new contacts can be difficult. Good news– there’s an app for that. Set a reminder! Whether it be a day, a week, or a month from the first introduction, setting a reminder will do the hard work (remembering) for you so it’s easier to follow-up.
- Send a LinkedIn request. What better way to follow-up on your networking efforts than adding that person to your virtual professional network? This is also an easy way to follow your new contact’s career and company updates to show that you are engaged.