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Networking Hack: The Follow-Up

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DanielBy Daniel Sogrine

We’ve all heard it before, “follow up.”  After countless networking events, I’ve noticed it means something different to almost everybody.  In this blog post, you’ll learn my method of following up and why I believe it’s the best way to ensure you’ve made the most out of your networking efforts.

Let’s generalize and put ourselves into the mindset of the previous networking event you’ve attended – hopefully it was a Mississauga Board of Trade: NGen event! You’ve already put in the effort to seek out and register for the networking event. You’ve invested your time and energy into networking with fellow ambitious professionals.  Great job!

Generally, you’ll leave a networking event with a handful of business cards, a few solid conversations, maybe some potential leads.  What you do within 24 hours of the networking event separates the average from the successful.

Everybody is different when it comes to memory; some will remember your face, your job title, your business card, your company name, it varies. This is why quick and strong follow up skills are so important. Think about it, you’ve invested hours into establishing connections and nurturing business relationships but that person may forget you within a week’s time, and have your business card in an unknown abyss never to be found again.

Now that we’re on the same page, here’s how to truly make the most of your efforts:

Bring a pen to jot down notes on collected business cards or take notes with your smartphone for anybody you feel would bring you a referral, a lead or is simply a great person to have in your professional network.

Did they mention they have kids? Did they recently get married? Are they telling you about a recent challenge they’ve had? Job role?

The list goes on and on, you get it — any information that could be used in a follow conversation is gold.

Picture this: leaving the networking event with all the ammunition you need to follow up, personalized and with purpose. I devalue generic emails, it shows a lack of effort — but you’re better than that now. The night of the networking event or first thing next morning when you’re at your computer, take 15 minutes to send some emails.

Create a generic email template that you’ll tailor towards your follow up, something like this:

Hello _____,

It was great meeting you at ______! I wish you the best of luck on (the information you’ve gathered while networking).

For your reference, I would be happy to help with (insert your skills that the person your following up with may need or send you referral for).

I hope to hear from you again in the near future.

Best Regards,

The Best Follow Up-er Ever

Take a look at that, we can insert the person’s name, wish their kid a happy birthday, wish them luck on their big meeting, congratulate them on the recent promotion, reminding them of what you do and why they should keep you on file! Powerful.

Since we’ve followed up within 24 hours and they’re not a goldfish, the people you follow up with will now have a much higher chance of retaining the information of who you are, what you do, and feel good knowing that the person following up with them cares about their life.

Once you’ve invested the initial time into creating your very own generic but easy-to-personalize template, it takes less than 30 seconds to send your new connection a meaningful and professional follow up that will land you more opportunities. Enjoy!

 Daniel Sogrine is responsible for Web Marketing at NoBul Media.  http://www.nobulmedia.com/

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