The Art of The Follow-Up
Having a large network accomplishes many things, including widening your potential for professional, growth opportunities, helping you find mentors and sources of advice, and building a foundation for possible prospective clients and partners. However, networking isn’t always easy to do. There’s a certain art to interacting with your peers that is learned over time. This is especially true when it comes to following up after you’ve met a contact you wish to build a relationship with.
Reach Out in a Timely Fashion
This is obvious, but not always achieved. If you’ve met someone you see being a great asset or friend, you should take the initiative to reach out to them shortly after meeting. This will show them how excited you are to have met them.
Spark Their Memory
If you met someone at a conference or a networking event, it’s likely you’re not the only person they interacted with. Give them a reminder of who you are by introducing yourself and explaining where you met and what you might have talked about. This is key to triggering their memory and making sure they know exactly who they are talking with. It’s always best to put a face to a name.
Offer A Partnership
In truth, most individuals consider networking a necessity for personal growth and gain. However, not everyone you meet will share your vision of the relationship. Instead of starting your follow-up conversation by asking for assistance, explain how you think a relationship between the two of you can be mutually beneficial, and see if they agree. After all, someone who sees you as a benefit to their own network will be more likely to be of a benefit to you.
Make Your Intentions Clear
Make it clear that you enjoyed your last conversation and would like to further that conversation over lunch, or coffee, or even drinks. Simply reaching out without an intended result means you might just trade emails and not much else.
Alternatively, you might also wish to connect your new acquaintance with another individual or send them information. Before doing so, ask the individual for permission. If suggesting that they meet with someone, let them know that there is someone that they might want to meet and provide them with a reason to want to. If you’d like to send information regarding your company or services you offer, ask if it would be acceptable to send it along to them. Unsolicited information is rarely wanted and can quickly leave a sour taste in the recipient’s mouth.
Nobody said networking is an easy task, but with a few simple tips you can make sure that you are doing your best to build the network you want for yourself. Keep in mind that the best approach to a relationship is that you should always give as much as you receive.