This is a principle that I live by. In a recent presentation I attended given by Linda Watson and Susan Bridgman it was stated that your networking is only as good as your follow-up and that is true.
There’s a decent chance that I’m not someone you care if you ever meet (my feelings aren’t hurt), but other people feel the same way that I do. I can meet ten people in one night and if they don’t follow up, I don’t care that I met them at all and I won’t remember them the next time I see them. Now, that’s only a theory, because in reality I follow up consistently so if there is ANY mutual desire, a connection is usually made, thus grows two networks.
Here are some easy rules to follow:
- After you receive someone’s business card, take the time to look at it before you put it away. You might even want to jot down a note or two on the back of it so you remember who they are, but do this out of their eye site.
- Follow up with a general e-mail or phone call between one and three days later “It was nice to meet you..”, “I’m glad we had a chance to talk…”
- Follow up on specific inquiries at most three to five business days later.
- Add the person to your personal contact list and keep in touch even if it is just a hello once a month or information relevant to the discussion you had with them.
You have to do this for yourself, there is no reminder. In Pete Luongo’s book Ten Truths About Leadership he states that inspiration is the responsibility of others, motivation is your responsibility alone.