I attended a networking breakfast last year with a friend (as his guest). In this particular group, the members pay close to $1,000 each year to participate. I sat at a table with 6 other people. We chatted, exchanged business cards, listened to the morning speaker. During the event, the speaker talked about the importance of passing leads and gave networking tips.
The following day, I emailed each of the people I met. I suggested it was nice to meet them and I made a reference back to something I had talked about with each of them. I also indicated that I looked forward to learning more about their business in the future.
Are you ready for this?
Not a single person responded.
How’s that for an ego killer? Fortunately my ego isn’t tied to other people’s bad networking moves.
Five Networking Follow-Up Tips
Here are 5 things to do to follow-up with a new connection:
- The next day, send a follow-up email to the people you meet and speak with. Tell them it was nice to meet them and refer back to something that you spoke about with them.
- Look them up on LinkedIn. If they have a profile, make a connection. Include a personalized invitation to connect that refers back to having met at the networking event the day before.
- Record any notes in your database as to what you learned about them and their business.
- If during your conversation at the networking event you promised to provide the new connection with something — make sure and do it!
- Schedule a follow-up phone call with the connection for 4-6 weeks into the future.
It still surprises me that the simple act of follow-up after a networking event is something that will set you apart from the pack.