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The 6 best ways to follow up after a networking event

By April 24, 2019 Life Hacks

Whether you love or hate networking, it plays an essential part in developing your business, making sales and finding new opportunities. But one of the biggest mistakes people make is not following up with all those new contacts you’ve made after a networking event.

Instead, that big stack of business cards just sit there, collect dust and that relationship goes ice cold.

If this sounds like you, then you’re missing out on opportunities and potentially wasting your time at those networking events. My friend, there’s a better way.

Follow up within the first 24 hours

Time is of the essence! You want to get in touch while the original meeting is still fresh in the other person’s mind. You can tag them in tweets or Instagram posts or Instastories straight away, but don’t forget to follow up with a quick and friendly email, as well.

Top Tip: Use Boomerang for Gmail to schedule when you send them out. Let’s say you get home from an event, all fired up and excited about the new people you’ve met. But you don’t want to seem too keen or eager by emailing them at 11pm that night. Simply write the emails immediately after the event, schedule it to fire off at 9am tomorrow morning and BOOM! you look like Suzy-on-top-of-things because it’s your email that’s at the top of their inbox when they get back in the office the next morning.

Be a Super Connector

Mary’s rule of thumb is this: If you’ve had at least a 10-minute conversation with this person and you gelled well with them… then, go ahead and connect with them on LinkedIn. Once they accept, offer to introduce them to people in your network.

If you can connect people who may be of use to each other, you’ll not only throw good Karma points and kindness out into the world, but also both parties will think of you as a Super Connector. Top of mind and giving them all the feels, you’ll be viewed as someone who is helpful, well connected, and worth knowing.

Make it personal

Forget generic “it was nice to meet you” copy and paste messages. Reference something memorable you spoke about and share a resource that would solve a pain point they mentioned. For example, share a link to a relevant article, a blog post or a podcast that might help them. By tailoring your message and offering genuinely useful help, you’ll be on the right track to building a deep working relationship.

Give first and expect nothing in return

AVOID PUSHY SALES MESSAGES!

The key to being a successful networker is showing that you can offer value. What can you do to help the other person? Networking is all about building mutually beneficial relationships and by showing you are willing to help without expecting anything in return. This is how you build trust. So, don’t sell coming right out of the gate. Be willing to help first… then, sell way, way down the line when the time is right and the relationship is ripe.

Keep it simple

Make your first email brief and easy to read. We’re all busy people, we don’t need another long email in our inbox! Too long and rambling and you risk your email being left unread or you even being labelled as annoying. Go for bullet points, hyperlink to helpful resources and if it’s a relationship you truly want to nurture, offer to treat them to coffee or lunch soon. Get it scheduled as next steps.

Write a handwritten letter

Go the extra mile for the people who were particularly intriguing. Handwritten letters or cards make a big impact. These days, it’s rare that we’ll receive something that isn’t a bill or flyers in the mail so it will be noticed. Choose high quality stationery that would feel nice to the touch or maybe something quirky that shows off your sense of humour. Send it the very next morning… remember, don’t delay.

Yes, all of these tips take time but I can certainly tell you, it pays in dividends. 90% of people don’t bother with the follow up… but you, my friend, are different. You care. You want to drum up new business and expand your network of colleagues, vendors and partners.

Do what most are not willing to do.

You’ve got this!

Resources we recommend:

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