Follow up is a key step after you attend a meeting or an event. The challenge is that it’s easy to get caught up in your next appointment or activity instead of following up. All it take is just a few minutes to solidify the benefits of the contacts you made. Here are some fast and easy action steps to follow up after networking to help you build your relationships.
First, if you gathered some business cards from the people you met, take a minute to look through them. Think about the people you were just with and identify two or three people that you might want to stay in touch with. Don’t try to follow up with everyone you met. That can feel overwhelming. Just pick two or three or four people who seem most important to you at this time.
Second, for the handful of people that you choose to follow up with, decide on the best method for your follow up. You can call them or send them an email or a text message. Another very powerful option is to send an actual written card in the mail. Whichever action you choose, take your follow up action step within 48 hours if possible, so that the people are likely to remember meeting you.
Third, see if you can find the people you just met in social media sites, especially LinkedIn and Facebook. If it seems appropriate, send them an invitation to connect. Add a sentence or two to your request to personalize it, rather than just sending a generic request. This can be as simple as “I really enjoyed meeting you at the meeting this afternoon,” or “It was great to see you again at the networking meeting yesterday.”
I hope you will try these three easy ways to follow up after networking. They can be done very quickly and they will help you to expand your network of professional contacts steadily each time you meet people. The real secret is to take a few minutes after each meeting to keep up with the process while the people and the event are still fresh in your mind.
What are your favorite ways to follow up after you meet people at meetings and events? What do you find most challenging about following up with the people you meet? I’d love to read your answers in the comments area below.