Well, you’ve been to a networking event, you’ve rubbed shoulders with some agreeable people, you’ve answered their questions (like “What does a financial adviser do?” and “How much does a financial adviser cost?”), and you’ve returned home with your pockets bulging with business cards.
Now what? Here are a few suggestions for follow-up:
The merits of a simple email
Fire off a simple but positive email message to the people you’ve networked with. Keep it light and simple. For instance, you might say: “I enjoyed meeting you at the Chamber of Commerce event yesterday. Best of luck with your daughter’s 10th birthday party!” Maybe suggest a follow-up: “I appreciated talking about our prospecting efforts and I’d love to discuss that further with you. How are you fixed next Wednesday to grab a coffee or a bite to eat?”
Don’t overlook LinkedIn
LinkedIn is laden with free tools to help you remember the contacts you value. Use them to get alerts in your email when their birthday arrives, or they get a new job, or any other event or anniversary. Follow-ups to these can promote positive sentiments.
Start making “re-connect” files
Enter a few snippets about how you met and what you discussed into your calendar app and set it to alert you once a month. You don’t have to make contact each time, but at least you’ll be reminded about the value of setting up another meeting or sending an inspiring article you’ve read. You keep an active presence in each other’s minds like this.
Do sweat the small stuff
Sending good wishes via social media when your contact (or one of their children) has a birthday or a family celebration goes a long way toward nurturing positive relationships. Small gestures are worth the effort, especially if you go that little bit further and send a hand-written note.
If your contact mentioned in passing a need during that networking event, like a sister looking for work, offer help: find out what line of work she’s seeking and ask for a CV to circulate to a few connectors or firms that are hiring. Freely helping someone in need tends to evoke reciprocal inclinations.
Build one-to-one connections and then multiply them
It’s wise to deepen good rapport with a one-to-one follow-up meeting. But that can open new doors for both of you: if you trust one another, you can open up your list of contacts to each other, too, mutually boosting your business prospects.