For those of you who have loyally followed me from the beginning… that is November 1st… you know that I began blogging with a goal to write every day during the month of November (in honor of National Novel Writers’ Month) in an effort to share my experiences as a master networker with others so that they might benefit from the lessons that I learned. I just hung up a big banner above my laptop that reads, “Mission Accomplished!” 🙂
That means, with this edition, I have published 30 blog posts on the topic of networking. My hope is that all 30 have offered at least a tiny pearl of wisdom that the faithful among you can utilize and/or adapt to serve your own networking purposes. If you have found some benefit, or even have some suggestion for improvement, please write to me – I’d love to hear from you. I would also like to know whether there are topics that you would like for me to cover in the future. Which brings me to the real point of this particular post… the art of the follow up.
In 29 posts, I have failed to share with you what to do after the meeting – perhaps with the exception of my insistence on sending a thank you note. The deal is, if you do nothing with the information exchanged during the course of your Coffee or Lunch meeting, the meeting might as well never have taken place. And, the follow up could be multifold in nature… perhaps it is go get back together in six months… perhaps it is to make an introduction of this contact to another contact… perhaps you ask the same in return. Did you discuss a book during the conversation? Send an email reminding your contact of the book and author’s name… or, better yet, for a really important contact, send them a copy of the book as a gesture of goodwill. I actually know of two individuals who have multiple copies of their favorite professional inspiration book at the ready in their office so that they can send it immediately after the initial networking meeting as a token of their appreciation to the contact.
In fact, I met a fellow about a year and a half ago, Jack. He was visiting Kansas City for a series of meetings and we got about fifteen minutes of one another’s time. Jack’s name came up this morning during a networking conversation. I asked for a reintroduction. My contact from this morning graciously sent a lovely intro and the guy responded, “Totally honest and scary – I have your card in front of me… I go through my stack every two months to see who I haven’t connected with in a while and you were one of five folks I pulled. You may recall I was out visiting approx. 16 months ago…” Wow! What an awesome approach to staying in touch. Lesson learned for me… and, now, for you, too!
So, people, maintain your database… keep in touch with your precious network… follow through… FOLLOW UP! Then, repeat. It’s the only way to effectively stay on your most important contacts’ radar screens.
In closing, thank you, dear reader, for sticking with me over these last 30 days. It has been a true delight! And, quite honestly, I’ve caught the blogging bug! I don’t think I can stop now. Rather, I hope you will tell your friends to join us in the Networking Revolution. While I may not write to you with the same consistency that I have during this month, I promise to write with the same fervor when I have something important to share. I am grateful for your readership and loyalty. It’s been great networking with you and I look forward to our continued relationship.
Tomorrow… Share the Wealth.