Mastering the Art of Follow-Up
01 Aug 2023
Networking events provide a golden opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, build valuable relationships, and uncover exciting prospects. Attending an event is just the beginning. The real magic happens when you follow up with the people you meet, nurturing those connections and turning them into meaningful partnerships. There is an art to following up after a networking event to make a lasting impression.
1. Be Prompt: Time is of the essence when it comes to following up after a networking event. Within 24-48 hours, reach out to the individuals you connected with while your interaction is still fresh in their minds. Promptness demonstrates your professionalism and genuine interest in fostering a relationship.
2. Personalize Your Communication: Avoid generic, cookie-cutter messages. Instead, tailor your follow-up communications to each person you meet. Reference specific topics you discussed, anecdotes shared, or any relevant insights gained during your conversation. Personalization helps you stand out and shows that you value the individual connection.
3. Express Gratitude: Begin your follow-up message by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to meet the person. A simple thank-you note goes a long way in establishing a positive impression. Reflect on the value their insights or conversation brought to you and express your appreciation for their time and expertise.
4. Reintroduce Yourself: Don’t assume the people you meet will remember you. Include a brief reintroduction of yourself and remind them of the context you met to jog their memory and recall your conversation.
5. Provide Value: Networking is a two-way street. Demonstrate your willingness to contribute by offering something valuable to the person you’re following up with. Share an interesting article or introduce them to someone in your network who could help them reach their goals. Providing value establishes yourself as a valuable contact and fosters reciprocity.
6. Suggest Next Steps: Suggest potential steps for collaboration or further discussion to keep the momentum going. It could be a coffee meeting, a phone call, or attending an upcoming event together. By initiating concrete actions, you increase the likelihood of turning the initial connection into a productive relationship.
7. Stay Organized: You’ll likely have a flurry of new contacts after a networking event. Use a system that works for you to stay organized. Consider using a spreadsheet, CRM (client relationship management) software, or a dedicated networking app to track your contacts and any relevant notes or follow-up actions.
8. Be Persistent (but not pushy): Following up once is often not enough to solidify a connection. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive a response to your initial follow-up. Politely send a gentle reminder after a reasonable time frame. Persistence shows your commitment to building a relationship, but remember to strike a balance and avoid being pushy.
Attending a networking event is just the beginning of a journey toward professional growth and collaboration. Mastering the art of follow-up can transform encounters into valuable partnerships. Remember to be prompt, personalize your communication, express gratitude, provide value, and suggest next steps. Stay organized, be persistent, and approach every follow-up with sincerity. The power of networking lies in who you meet and how you nurture those connections over time.
Want to test out these tactics and expand your network? Steel Plus Network hosts networking events across North America with industry experts and insightful structural steel professionals. Join Steel Plus Network today and capitalize on the benefits of connecting with our strong network.