Networking Checklist, Part 1 helped you prepare for an upcoming networking event, and Part 2 helped you build on that preparation to make every moment count for you in building connections. Most don’t stop there! Now you will now learn the best ways to build on the momentum you started at the event.
I always say, “After all is said and done, much more is said than done. Take the action step after the event to follow up with your new connections and the people you have reconnected with.
Perhaps it was agreed with someone that they would contact you. Or maybe one of you expressed an interest in talking further but left the plans for that vague. Remember that this person’s memory of you will fade, and they make have follow-up contact with others from the event.
You need to take the initiative yourself, and you need to do so quickly.
Make contact the next day
Within 24 hours, send an email to those you connected with.
- Keep it simple and sincere.
- Reflect something the other person said that stuck in your mind.
- State that it was a pleasure meeting them and your appreciation of their time and any information you promised to send.
- You will differentiate yourself.
Send a personal thank-you note
Your email arrives right away. The hand-written note arrives a couple of days later.
Send materials immediately.
People who follow-up promptly will always stand out.
- Send only what you promised; less is more
- You will have time to bring more as you deepen the connection and have your first meeting.
Reach out within two weeks after the event
Suggest a meeting with those that said they would enjoy the next step. Be strategic in your follow-up. If there was interest in further contact after the event, be the one to follow-up with something specific, suggesting an activity, time and place.
Follow up with people who helped you at the event
If a contact of yours provided you with a referral or strategic introduction, be ready to tell them of your follow-up and results. Let people know what happened, keep them in the loop, next steps and a sincere thank you for the connection and introduction. Referrals are the key to many new and successful opportunities. Always thank and keep the “Referrer” in the know and how they contributed to your success. I call this my ‘Thank You Chain’ with the following steps
- Working from past to present, think about the chain of events that led to a current client.
- Make a list of the people who helped you through referrals, endorsements, advice, or in other ways.
- Write, call, send a personalized e-mail, thank on social media, or write a handwritten note to thank them for their confidence in you. Report how you are doing and how their assistance positively impacted your success the prospect or client.
- Each time you receive a new piece of business that was in any way related to their help, keep them up to date and thank them again for the part they played.
Remember the “event” is only the starting point. To build strong connections into your universal network, it is about taking the next steps to build on the relationship and to do so consistently.
Andrea R. Nierenberg, executive coach, networking strategist and consultant is the force behind The Nierenberg Consulting Group. Called a “networking success story” by The Wall Street Journal, Andrea is founder and president of The Nierenberg Consulting Group which focuses on the communication skills that impact the bottom line and to attract and retain more business.