I Networked, NOW WHAT?
How to Follow up with Contacts after a Business Event
Networking is an essential part of business relationships and professional success. Developing relationships with the right people can open opportunities for growth, collaboration, and even career advancement. That's why it's so important to follow up after any event – it’s the key to nurturing relationships with your contacts and making lasting connections.
Below are 5 important steps to help create genuine connections while growing your business.
1. Connect on Social Media
A great way to follow up after a networking event is to reach out on social media. Connecting with contacts over platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter will make it easier for them to remember you and can be a good way to stay in touch and nurture relationships. Reaching out over social media also gives you an opportunity to start a conversation about the topics discussed at the networking event, which can be a great way to keep relationships alive.
Social media can be an effective way to create relationships and maintain a professional presence online. It allows you to keep up with industry trends, network with other professionals in your field and make connections that could lead to future business opportunities. Social media allows you to promote yourself and your business, as well as share valuable content that can help to build authority in your industry.
2. Focus on Giving Instead of Receiving
It is easy to get caught up in the question “What can you do for me?”, but it is more important for us to approach connections with the idea of giving first; this giving could include time, advice or even an introduction to another Chamber member. You can schedule a coffee meeting, a Zoom call, or a quick phone call to connect with people who expressed interest in keeping in touch with you. Each follow-up opportunity should be approached as a chance to strengthen your connection by offering valuable insights from your own experience, asking questions about their work or interests, and providing helpful resources that might be useful during their journey.
If the other person doesn't respond immediately don't lose hope! It's normal not to receive a response right away – sometimes it takes multiple reminders before someone responds - so maintain patience while continuing your efforts at making meaningful connections with those you met at the Chamber event. At the end of the day, God is in control and will bring the best partnerships to fruition.
3. Foster the Relationship
Building relationships with Chamber contacts is important for business because it can open doors to new opportunities. Relationships formed at these events can lead to increased business referrals, potential partnerships, access to industry knowledge and resources, and the ability to build a strong professional network. Additionally, creating meaningful relationships with those in your field helps you stay informed on trends and advancements that could be beneficial for your own business development.
Relationships built on trust are also paramount for successful business relationships. It is important to be reliable and trustworthy to establish relationships that will last long-term. For instance, if a business partner trusts that you will deliver what was agreed upon, they are more likely to recommend you to people they know or collaborate with you on future projects. Furthermore, relationships formed through networking allow people to build relationships with people from different backgrounds and expose themselves to new perspectives which could help them grow personally, professionally, and spiritually.
4. Get Contact Information
If you’ve made a meaningful connection with someone, don’t forget to ask for their contact information – this will allow you to follow up even after they have left the networking event. The key to successful follow-up is to stay organized and be proactive. This starts with taking down contact information during the networking event. While exchanging business cards is still common practice, many networking events offer digital ways to exchange contact information, such as scanning QR codes or using networking apps like Popl or Blinq.
Once you have everyone’s contact information, it’s important that you send an email soon after the event expressing your appreciation for their time and willingness to network with you. Mention something specific about your conversation—their advice, insight into a field or company, etc.—so they remember why they should care about following up with you.
5. Send Thank You Notes
The most important step in following up after a networking event is to send thank-you notes or emails. Even though it may seem old-fashioned, thank-you letters are still seen as a sign of good etiquette and professionalism. It shows that you recognize the time and effort your contacts put into attending the event and will make them more likely to remember you in the future. Thank-you notes also give you an opportunity to remind people of what you both talked about at the event. This can be key for maintaining relationships with contacts who have moved onto other roles or companies since then – sending them a thoughtful follow-up message can help keep your relationships alive and flourishing.
By following these 5 steps it shows you are invested in building relationships, which will help create meaningful partnerships down the line. It also helps build trust between you and your contacts, as well as boost enthusiasm about future collaborations or projects together. Taking the time to send thank-you notes, connect on social media, and ask for contact information can go a long way in strengthening relationships, solidifying your reputation as a reliable partner, and building lasting connections.
Networking can be challenging but if done correctly it can also be incredibly rewarding! By staying organized and taking proactive steps such as writing personalized emails and scheduling follow-ups post networking events, you are more likely to create strong relationships which could lead to new opportunities in the future!
Be sure to maximize your networking opportunities by focusing on the relationships, following through with your word, and helping others.
For more information on how to build your network and connect with your ideal clientelle, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 407-456-1520.