The Art of Networking
It’s the morning after a networking event, you’re sitting at your desk with a stack of business cards, feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Sound familiar?
Here are 5 tips to strategically follow-up and maximize the connections you have just made:
1. Sort business cards into 2 piles:
Group A: for immediate connections that are directly relevant to your business, clients or a particular relationship
Group B: cards of people for which you will less likely have a direct business relationship
2. Write a note on the back of cards of important connections regarding what you talked about, common connections, or future goals
3. Send a follow up email to all connections
You can write a quick email to express your gratitude to the connections in Group B. Add a short personal anecdote from the conversation.
Group A: Start by expressing your gratitude, then recall a specific facet of the conversation and lastly, state your interest & desire for working together further. Consider what you would like to gain from this relationship and what you can offer. Do you have skills, services or products that would be valuable to this person or their business? Do you have any relevant business contacts with whom you facilitate an introduction to benefit this person?
4. State your desire and intention for follow up.
Make sure to include your phone/email/contact information and best times to be in touch and schedule a phone call or a face-to-face meeting. Otherwise, let the person know you will be following up within a certain time period
5. If you don’t receive a response, try sending another message or utilizing a different method of contact
Place a call or send a handwritten note, or try contacting them again via email