You just made a great connection at a networking event. You feel that ‘burden to meet someone’ lift from your shoulders and decide to relax with a drink at the bar. On your way over you realize, I have no reason to contact this person again. How am I going to follow up? Don’t panic. You can still save the connection and build a solid relationship with a series of ‘light touches.’ This helps you to stay in someone’s mind without (literally) being in their face. Here are a few touch points to try:
— They mentioned an upcoming work event, client meeting, training, conference, workshop, event: send an email asking how the event went.
— Their alma mater or favorite sports team won an important game: congratulate them.
— They have an upcoming vacation or staycation/In the process of choosing vacation destination: send a recommendation or a link to an article you found on the destination.
— They are battling an illness/aiding a sick parent, spouse, friend, child: check in and send wishes for a speedy recovery.
— They have a new baby/new baby on the way/found out if they were having a boy or a girl: congratulate them and offer some nice memories of your own if you are a parent. Be careful with the advice here – they are getting a lot of it.
— It is their birthday/child’s birthday/attending or throwing a birthday party: Ask how it went.
Forgot to jot down the details of your conversation? Here are some additional follow-ups to effectively (but not annoyingly) stay on someone’s radar:
— Create connections for the person by introducing them to a vendor who can help them or a potential client
— Invite or let them know about upcoming events they might enjoy or benefit from
— Send your regards through a mutual friend
— Congratulate them (on a job promotion, securing a new client, etc). By the way, an easy way to stay on top of news regarding your contacts is a service called Newsle. Newsle sends you a message whenever someone you have set up an alert for is mentioned in the press.
Before we leave this post, I want to quickly touch upon one final topic – how to keep track of your contacts’ details. One trick I use is after I have had a conversation with someone, I quickly jot down a few key points from the conversation on the back of their business card (if I am at an event) or in a notebook if I met the person for lunch or at a meeting. Click to tweet Then, I transfer these notes to their ‘contact’ in my computer when I get back to my office.