So You’ve Met at An Event— What’s Next?
After I’ve given a keynote speech or workshop, I’m often asked what the best way is to followup with a new contact. The obvious point is that it’s not enough to meet at an event. If we don’t follow-up; and then stay in touch, we don’t build our networks and we’ll lose out on significant connections that could lead to new clients, new careers, new ventures and ….new friends.
Susan RoAne’s Super Seven Followup Steps To Building a Relationship
Within Three Days:
Send an email. This is not a sales pitch but a pleasant acknowledgement of the interaction/conversation.
(ie: “Your description of the Road Race To Fight Cancer was so interesting. Thank you for letting me know about next year’s event.
I’m glad/pleased we had a chance to meet and talk.
Let’s stay in touch.”)
Within Five Days:
Send an invite to LinkedIn. Create your own invitation mentioning where you met to give context for your invite.
(Avoid the linkedin boilerplate. It’s impersonal and doesn’t provide context for your invitation).
Offer via email to E-INTRO your new contact to someone you think they would be interested in knowing.
Within Twenty One Days:
Send a relevant (to your conversation or to the person’s work) article or item of interest.
You can send the URL to an interesting post that you’d read online. OR
Go “OLD SCHOOL” and send a hard copy clipping of an article you’ve read in a paper, journal or magazine.
Go even further OLD SCHOOL and add a handwritten note:
“Thought of you when I read this article and that you might find it of interest.”
This is most effective because
- It demonstrates that you remembered the person and conversation
- You took the time to Clip, Write and Mail.
Within A Month
Pick up your smartphone; find the Phone App and CALL!
Plan the message you’ll leave if you get voice mail.
“I wanted to connect and arrange a time for a (breakfast, lunch, coffee, after work beverage).”
If you have an extra ticket to a local sports event/concert, Cubs game, fundraiser, local biz event etc, invite your new contact as your guest.
Once accepted, immediately Add to Calendar (desktop/smartphone and paper calendar.
Two Days before Event (coffee, concert etc).
SEND a personalized email reminder.
(“Looking forward to our August 27th Cubs Vs. SF Giants game at AT&T Park. Meet you in front of the Willie Mays Statue.”)
I might add this one is real because colleague Craig Harrison (a long-time Giants fan) and I are going to the August 27th game. I’m from Chicago so this should be an interesting nine or more innings.
Show up 10 minutes early to greet your new contact rather than have them wait for you.
To be memorable: RINSE AND REPEAT…. often
Based on How To Work a Room® and The Secrets of Savvy Networking