Follow Up Within 12-18 Hours
Networking pros don’t let the business cards and contact information they collect at networking events burn a hole in their pockets. Nope…they quickly reach out to the people they’ve met and make a second “touch.” Experienced networkers will tell you it takes five “touches” for a networking acquaintance to become a potential business ally.
The first touch happens when you initially meet. The second is when you reach out to them via email within 12-18 hours of the event where you met. Of course, the earlier you follow up, the stronger the positive impact.
That prompt follow-up email tells the new acquaintance a few things about the networking pro:
- the time spent talking with him/her was valuable;
- there is interest in continuing to develop the business relationship;
- the networking pro has good manners and is capable of expressing gratitude.
If you want to network like the pros, then you’ll be sure to include a prompt follow-up in your networking plans.
That follow-up email could include statements like “I enjoyed meeting you at the XYZ networking event this afternoon/last night/yesterday. Thank you for taking the time to share your story with me about how you got into your current line of work. I would enjoy getting together with you in the next week or so to learn more about you and your business. Please let me know if you’d like to get together again and if so, what dates and times work in your calendar.” If the other person also believes the relationship is valuable, s/he will respond promptly with dates and times that work.
Sometimes, while at networking events, we promise things to the people we meet. It could be a phone number or email address of a resource that’s been recommended to the new acquaintance. You might have promised to provide a soft introduction to a contact the acquaintance wanted to meet. A prompt follow-up, with promises executed, will tell the new acquaintance another valuable thing: you keep your word.
I can’t tell you how many people I encounter while networking who don’t fulfill their promises. It tells me a lot about them and their character…and that I probably don’t want to do business with them. A good way to keep track of what you’ve promised is to write what you’ve promised on the back of the other person’s card after you finish your conversation and before you move to the next person. Also include the date and name of the event where you met. That will make things very easy to remember when you sit down to prepare your second “touch.”
So, there you have it…the final idea that networking pros use to get remembered in a positive way. “Are there more?” you ask. Why yes, there are. Get these into your repertoire and I’ll share more once you’ve mastered these. Oh, and “Happy Networking!”