When to begin
Following up actually begins right after the networking event ends. I’m not talking about calling or emailing people immediately after the event. But I encourage you to make notes immediately after the event. If you’re like most people, your mind is spinning with all kinds of new ideas after a networking event. Whatever those ideas are, write them down as soon as possible. You don’t need a lot of detail here - just jot down some bullet points to use as memory joggers to use later on.
Research your contact
The next step is to do some research on the individual and his company. For example, go to their company website. You can learn a great deal about their business online. Their website will also contain links to their social media pages. That information will enable you open up additional lines of communication that you can use to add value to the relationship. But in the beginning, all you’re going to do is make a follow-up contact via email or LinkedIn.
Include a “give” in your follow-up email
Most email follow-ups consist of a brief message, and a single “ask”, as described in our "How To Handshake" video. But, if you really want to wow them, include a “give” in your email too.
A “give” is something that adds value to the relationship - something you give them with no expectation of getting something in return. This is typically a piece of web content that your new contact might benefit from. The subject of that content will depend on their specific business. But a topic that’s always a safe bet is marketing.
For example, let’s say you recently read an interesting, informative blog post about social media marketing. By including a link to that post in your follow-up email, you’re demonstrating your sincere desire to help them further their business ambition.
Making your follow-up about them is a great way to nurture your relationships with business contacts. Keep following our blog for more posts on startups, entrepreneurship, and networking. Contact us online or call 720-515-5117 if you need help networking. We also invite you to follow us on Twitter.