How to follow-up after networking

April 12, 2024
How to follow-up after networking

Wondering how to follow-up after networking events? Read our practical tips to improve your networking strategy.

Networking events can be a great way to make valuable connections and expand your professional network. But there's a step that is even more important than attending events:

Your followup.

Following up is key to solidifying those connections and turning them into meaningful relationships.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of following up after networking and give you practical tips to improve your follow-up strategy. So if you want to make the most out of your networking opportunities, keep reading to learn how to follow-up after networking.

Why is following up after networking important?

Following up after networking is crucial for nurturing connections and building lasting relationships. It reinforces your elevator pitch and personal branding. But, most importantly, it also shows your commitment to building authentic interactions with your target audience.

Moreover, effective follow-up can set you apart from others who may overlook this essential step. By promptly sending a personalized thank-you email or a LinkedIn message after an event, you show gratitude and keep the conversation going.

A well-crafted follow-up can lead to continued engagement and potential collaborations. For instance, sending relevant articles, introductions, or invitations can deepen the connection and showcase your value.

These actions help solidify your presence in the minds of your contacts, making them more likely to turn to you when opportunities arise.

When should you follow up after networking?

Knowing when to follow up after networking is essential for keeping momentum and relevance. Timely follow-ups increase your chances of a successful connection.

Good timing positions you as a true professional with a genuine interest in building your relationships.

Networking goes very fast, so a prompt follow-up within 24-48 hours can leave a lasting impression on potential contacts.

On the other hand, for more formal or high-level interactions such as conferences or business meetings, strategic patience is key. Waiting 3-5 days before reaching out can indicate respect for the other person's schedule and priorities.

Follow-up within 24 hours

Following up within 24 hours is a great way to capitalize on the fresh memory of the interaction.

This prompt follow-up can involve sending a personalized email, connecting on LinkedIn, or just sending a "thank you" note for exchanging business cards. In this message, you can mention something specific you discussed during your conversation.

Or it can be a simple:

"It was great meeting you at the event. Looking forward to getting to know each other better"

Make sure you also connect on LinkedIn or a similar platform. Leveraging these platforms will help both of you stay on top of mind of each other and learn more things about your counterpart.

Follow-up within a week

Following up within a week of networking showcases your commitment to building trust and maintaining networking etiquette.

When you promptly follow up after an initial meeting, you signal to the other party that you value the connection and are eager to continue the conversation.

But it's consistency that will really help you stand out!

After one week you can follow up with a more specific message. You can reference more in-depth your conversation and share relevant resources with the other person. At this stage, you can also suggest another meeting so you can move your conversations forward.

Within a month

Following up within a month of networking is beneficial for nurturing potential mentorship connections and integrating into networking communities or professional associations. This delayed follow-up helps you cultivate deeper relationships.

When you keep contact within this extended follow-up period, you create a sense of continuity and demonstrate genuine interest in the other person.

Don't stop following up after one month. Instead, you should engage periodically so you can continue growing your relationships organically.

Make sure that every follow-up is filled with value. Sharing relevant industry resources, inviting for coffee chats, or making introductions will help you establish yourself as a valuable person to have in a network.

Regular follow-ups also showcase professionalism and dedication, which are both essential for building strong business relationships.

the business development school - best time to follow up after networking
The BD School - Best time to follow up after networking

How to follow up after networking

Effectively following up after networking requires a personalized approach that aligns with your personal branding.

Sending a tailored email not only sets you apart from generic messages, but also reaffirms your interest in establishing a true, genuine connection.

Send a thank you note

Sending a thank you note right after networking interactions. Especially in the context of networking lunch or dinner, is a thoughtful gesture that enhances relationship building. Expressing gratitude reinforces the connection and leaves a positive impression.

When you take the time to acknowledge someone's time and effort, it shows that you value their contribution and the relationship you are building. This simple act of gratitude can go a long way in strengthening professional connections.

Send a personalized email

Crafting a personalized email for follow-up after networking is a strategic way to maintain communication and showcase your networking strategy. This personalized touch reflects your confidence and commitment to creating valuable connections.

Start your email by expressing your appreciation for the initial interaction. This will show gratitude but also set a positive tone for further correspondence.

Next, emphasize a key point of discussion from your previous meeting. This shows that you were actively engaged and interested in the conversation, reinforcing your enthusiasm and professionalism.

Include a call-to-action in your email, whether it's suggesting a follow-up meeting, sharing relevant resources, or offering assistance. This proactive approach shows initiative and a willingness to contribute to the relationship.

Connect on LinkedIn

The next step is to connect on LinkedIn. Connecting on LinkedIn allows you to know more about the other person and makes it easier for you to engage with the content that the other person shares.

Sending a personalized connection request to the individual you met during the networking event. Include a friendly message reminding them of where you met and expressing your interest in staying connected.

Before connecting, make sure to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Have a professional photo, headline, and summary that accurately represents your professional background. Share relevant content and engage with connections through comments and messages so you can further enhance your networking efforts.

👉 Download our step-by-step guide to optimize your LinkedIn profile

Schedule a meeting or call

Scheduling a meeting or call as part of your follow-up strategy is a proactive approach to deepen relationships and showcase your value proposition. These interactions allow for meaningful discussions and further cement trust between networking parties.

Once you've established the need for a follow-up meeting, it's crucial to strategize the structure. Start by setting a clear agenda to ensure the conversation stays focused and productive. Be mindful of the other person's time and propose a few convenient dates and times for the meeting. Consider the best platform for the interaction, whether in-person, over the phone, or via video call, that will facilitate a comfortable and engaging exchange.

During the meeting, emphasize the value proposition you bring to the table. Highlight how your expertise or resources can benefit the other party. Show genuine interest in their needs and challenges, and propose tailored solutions or ideas that align with their goals. Building a strong foundation of respect and professionalism demonstrates your commitment to fostering a mutually beneficial relationship.

4 Tips for effective follow-up

Effective follow-up in networking hinges on promptness, personalization, specificity, and persistence.

These key tips underscore the significance of actively engaging with connections. By listening attentively to their needs and interests, you demonstrate genuine care and understanding.

Preparation is vital, as it shows respect for the other person's time and efforts. Knowing their background and interests allows you to tailor your follow-up messages with specific details that resonate with them.

Leveraging your networking skills effectively means going beyond surface-level interactions and nurturing meaningful relationships that can lead to successful collaborations and opportunities.

1 - Be Prompt

Being prompt in your follow-up communications demonstrates professionalism, confidence, and respect for the networking relationship. Timeliness is a key factor in maintaining momentum and relevance post-networking.

If you delay your message you might miss opportunities and potentially ruin your reputation. Ensuring timely follow-ups not only shows your reliability and commitment but also keeps the conversation alive, fostering a sense of mutual interest and engagement.

To stay on top of your follow-ups, consider setting specific time blocks in your schedule dedicated to responding to emails or calls. Organizing and prioritizing your communication tasks can help you manage your commitments efficiently and prevent any overlooked messages.

Leveraging technology tools such as email reminders, calendar alerts, or automation features can streamline your follow-up process, ensuring that no contact goes unanswered or neglected. Utilizing these tools can help you maintain a consistent and timely communication flow.

2 - Be Personalized

Personalizing your follow-up messages showcases your attention to detail, communication skills, and respect for individual connections. Tailoring your interactions based on the recipient's preferences and interests fosters stronger networking bonds.

When crafting personalized follow-up messages, it's crucial to align your elevator pitch with the specific needs and interests of each contact. This alignment demonstrates that you value your connection's time and are genuinely interested in building a meaningful relationship.

Honing your networking skills involves adapting your communication style to suit the preferences of diverse contacts. A tailored approach can help you establish rapport more effectively, leading to more fruitful professional connections.

Building confidence in your ability to personalize messages comes with practice. Start by researching your contacts thoroughly and finding common ground to reference in your follow-ups.

💥 Remember, the extra effort you put into customization can set you apart in a competitive networking landscape.

3 - Be Specific

Being specific in your follow-up discussions enhances clarity, relevance, and value proposition articulation. Referencing industry events, offering referrals, and highlighting mutual benefits streamline communication and deepen networking connections.

When you follow up with someone post-event and reference a specific discussion you had, it shows that you were actively engaged and reinforces the relevance of your conversation. For instance, if you met a potential collaborator at a conference and referred them to a valuable contact in your network, it not only demonstrates your willingness to help but also adds concrete value to your interaction.

Similarly, when you clearly articulate how your services or products can benefit the other party and align with their needs, you are more likely to hold their interest and foster a meaningful connection. Imagine following up with a prospect from a trade show and pinpointing exactly how your solution resolves a pain point they mentioned—this level of specificity not only demonstrates your attentiveness but also highlights the potential value you can bring to their business.

Identifying mutual benefits during follow-up interactions is crucial for building strong relationships. If, after attending a networking event, you reach out to a contact and propose a collaboration that clearly outlines how both parties stand to gain, you pave the way for a productive partnership based on reciprocity and shared success.

By focusing on specific ways in which you can contribute to each other's growth, you establish a foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship that goes beyond a surface-level exchange.

4 - Be Persistent

Persistence in follow-up after networking signals dedication, determination, and commitment to relationship building. Consistent communication showcases your networking confidence and reinforces trust over time.

It is crucial to understand that persistence goes beyond simply following up; it involves a mindful approach to nurturing connections. By staying top-of-mind with your network through regular, meaningful interactions, you demonstrate your genuine interest in maintaining relationships.

This not only speaks volumes about your professionalism but also helps in creating a lasting impression.

Persistence in networking follow-ups plays a pivotal role in fostering mutual trust and respect. When you consistently reach out, respond promptly, and offer value, you are building a foundation of trust that can lead to fruitful collaborations and opportunities down the line.

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3 Things to avoid when following up

While following up after networking is crucial, you should avoid certain pitfalls to maintain professionalism and positive networking outcomes. Being overly pushy, generic, or formal can detract from your networking strategy and hinder relationship development.

It's important to strike the right balance between being persistent and respectful in your follow-ups. Engaging in thoughtful conversation helps in forming a lasting impression and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

Remember to follow up promptly and professionally, demonstrating that you are reliable and committed to nurturing the connection.

1 - Don't be too pushy

Excessive pushiness in follow-up communications can alienate networking contacts and undermine relationship-building efforts.

Striking a balance between persistence and respect is essential to avoid appearing overly aggressive in your networking pursuits. When following up with contacts, it's crucial to be mindful of their boundaries and preferences.

Being too forceful in your approaches can make others feel pressured or uncomfortable, leading to a negative impression. Instead, consider crafting personalized messages that demonstrate genuine interest and value in the relationship.

2 - Be specific and not generic

Generic follow-up messages can dilute the impact of your networking efforts by failing to establish meaningful connections. Personalization and specificity are key to avoiding generic interactions and fostering genuine relationships in the networking realm.

When you send generic follow-up messages, recipients may feel like just another name on a list, rather than a valued connection. These impersonal communications lack the depth needed to build strong relationships and may be easily forgotten amidst a sea of similar messages.

To prevent this, consider taking the time to tailor your follow-ups to each individual. Mention specific details from your conversation, express genuine interest, and show that you value the relationship beyond just a networking opportunity.

By infusing authenticity into your follow-up messages, you demonstrate that you are invested in cultivating meaningful connections.

Remember, networking is about building relationships, and personalized messages are a powerful tool in nurturing these connections.

3 - Avoid being too formal

Excessive formality in follow-up interactions can create barriers to authentic communication and hinder relationship development. Striving for a balanced tone that aligns with networking etiquette while maintaining a personal touch is crucial for fostering meaningful connections.

It is essential to recognize that networking environments vary, and what works well in one setting may not be as effective in another. Flexibility in adapting your communication style to suit diverse networking contexts is key.

Understanding the nuances of each networking situation can help you tailor your approach accordingly, whether it's following up after a formal industry event or connecting with professionals in a more casual online community.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How should I follow up after networking?

After networking, it is important to follow up with the people you met to continue building professional relationships. This can be done through email, phone calls, or social media depending on your preference and the context of your conversation.

2. When is the best time to follow up after networking?

The best time to follow up after networking is within 24-48 hours. This shows your proactive attitude and keeps the conversation fresh in the minds of the people you met.

3. What should I include in my follow-up message?

Your follow-up message should remind the person of who you are, reference something you discussed during the networking event, and express your interest in staying connected.

4. Is it okay to follow up multiple times?

Yes, it is acceptable to follow up multiple times if you do not receive a response. However, make sure to space out your follow-ups and avoid being too pushy or demanding.

5. How do I follow up if I didn't exchange contact information with the person?

If you didn't exchange contact information, you can try to connect with them on social media or ask a mutual connection to introduce you. If all else fails, you can reach out to the event organizer for help.

6. What if I don't have any specific reason to follow up?

It's always a good idea to stay in touch with your professional network, even if you don't have a specific reason to follow up. You can simply send a quick message to check in and see how they are doing, or share an interesting article or job opportunity that may be of interest to them.

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