You went to a networking event, chatted with new contacts, and collected cards. Now what? There are multitudes of things you can do to make a personal and lasting impression past the first interaction. Now that you’ve done your due diligence in attending a networking event and connecting with peers, it’s time to begin the process of staying top-of-mind.
Here are 6 tips to get you past a one-night networking stand — and into a long-lasting business relationship:
Connect quickly on multiple levels. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, you name it. Today, there is even a great app powered by LinkedIn called Cardmunch that allows you to take a picture of a business card and it will instantly connect you with the person’s LinkedIn account. It doesn’t get simpler than that. I recommend doing this either the same day or the next day — it’s important to connect while the event is still fresh on everyone’s mind. Building relationships takes time, effort and genuine interest. You wouldn’t wait a week to connect with a new interest on social sites; consider timely interaction with new business contacts as proper business courting.
Get it on the calendar. Coffee, lunch, or drinks are preferred first methods of connection. Send an email to remind your new contact how you met. Make sure to include an important fact about the person too; we all love to know people were listening to us, and details can be great conversation starters. Request a time to meet to learn more about them, their business, and how you can help one another. (more…)