Tips For Networkers – Part 2

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—- By Andy Colando III

In the first part of this topic –  Tips For Your Networking Follow Up we offered tips on how to effectively follow up and leave a positive impression with your new contact. 

Now we turn to sharing ideas on how you can learn from our mistakes!

In our last blog, we discussed how important networking is for your professional development.  Almost anyone, from college students to executives, from entrepreneurs to corporate partners, can benefit from good networking. However, even those with the brightest resumes will have little luck finding meaningful opportunities if they have a poor follow up after a competitive networking event. 

The key elements of success include things to avoid in networking follow-ups.  We know – we’ve made these mistakes and hope you can learn from our them. 

We are going to divide these “Lessons Learned” into three major categories: Timing, Attitude, and Detail.

TIMING

Let’s be direct on this one – if you wait more than a business day to follow up with a contact they probably won’t remember you.  

How can you make up for this?  Be honest!  If you had a full day of meetings, were engaged in another event, traveled or even lost their contact info just let them know.  We all want to be acknowledged for our impact to others but we’re also human, so don’t hide it!

The opposite of waiting is overwhelming a new contact with multiple contacts.  Sometimes the other person is just as busy as you are.  Sending multiple emails in the same day or multiple LinkedIn requests can be off-putting and indicate a level of desperation that turns off your new contact.  And don’t (can’t believe we actually have to type this out) stalk the person on social media.  Like, ever.  You don’t want to scare off your new contact and leave them with a negative impression.  

ATTITUDE 

Our last post emphasized the importance of how your attitude can sent the right message to your contact, so a poor follow- up will do just the opposite. 

Keep these things in mind as you reach out: 

  • Please say thank you to your new contact at the start of your message 
  • Ensure your note (either email or an actual, you know, notecard) isn’t so vague that your new connection can’t remember where they met you and what you discussed.
  • Feel free to ask additional questions, especially if this strengthens the coverall connection between you two. 
  • You can offer support or assistance to your new connection so they know this isn’t just a “one-way street” 

Your content is what will (or won’t) leave a lasting impression on your new contact. Remember to be unique and specific, professional and knowledgeable, genuine, and kind.

DETAIL 

You’ve heard it before – the devil is in the details.  To leave a great impression with your new contact it really does you good service to pay attention to small but mighty details. 

Specific instances to ensure you’ve got it all correct:

  • The spelling of the contact’s name, title and company or organization
  • The address (email or physical) where you send your message 
  • Spelling, grammar, and word choice of your content
  • Signature line, resume, or cover letter attachments 
  • All of the above for social media/LinkedIn connection messages.   

 Networking can benefit just about everyone, especially if it is done well. Next time you’re able to attend a networking event in your area, be sure to check it out and make sure you take the time to follow up properly with your new connections. You just might find some great new opportunities, like I did with the awesome folks at gravatate.      

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