A Simple Gesture That Goes a Long Way
Successful strategic networking means having an effective follow-up strategy for building your contacts, connections, and trusted advisors. After any meeting, it is important to connect with your new contacts and follow-up with your friends or acquaintances to nurture the relationship. Because timing is of the essence, be sure to follow-up quickly-within in 24-48 hours, efficiently, and genuinely. It is an important component to growing your network and business.
The following are the four "Must-Dos" after a meeting:
- 1. Generate a greeting: Within 24-48 hours after a meeting, send a note, e-mail, call or text to let your new contacts know how much you appreciated meeting them briefly. Doing this distinguishes you so that you stand out. I am still amazed how often this very simple gesture is not done.
- 2. Honor your promise: When you either promised to send materials, communicate to them in their preferred method to set up a meeting, or to give a referral, keep your word. Following up in a timely manner will establish you as a trustworthy person. Under-promise and over-deliver.
- 3. "Dial" the digits: Within two weeks after suggesting a get-together, call your new contact and setup lunch or a more formal meeting. Always send a courtesy e-mail, text or voicemail to confirm the day before. Your sincerity and professionalism will shine through.
- 4. Give the gift of thanks: When a contact provides you with a a strategic introduction, referral or offers to pass your information along, be sure to say thank you and keep him or her in the loop by letting them know the developments and results that occur. These simple gestures of appreciation go a long way when building and maintaining your network.
These follow-up acts are purely common courtesy and professionalism. They help build solid relationships for the future, and show respect for others. “Respect” is the key word. Remember, people do business with those whom they know, respect, and like.