You went to that networking event and handed out some business cards. You chatted with a few people. Now what? Here are some suggestions for follow-up that might turn those furtive connections into lasting relationships:
1) Find the people you met in person over on their social media sites, as soon as possible after the event. Check for them at Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Facebook and drop them a line or request to connect.
2) If you chatted with someone about “getting together some time”, go back to your office and get it on the calendar. Make a note to yourself or actually make the invitation to drinks, coffee or lunch. When sending the invitation or email, mention one or two things you remember from your networking conversation to show a genuine interest.
3) Connect your connections with someone else. If you know an attorney and the person you met last night needs one, introduce the two, via email or whatever, first chance you get.
4) Send a piece of mail. Yes, putting a stamp on something is becoming rare, and that’s what can make it special. Consider sending a hand-written note to someone you met at a networking event. You’ll stand out from the crowd.
5) Find out more. Set up a Google news alert or do Internet searches for that person or her company. Learn as much as you can to be ready for the next meeting or phone conversation.
6) Set up calendar reminders to get in the habit of contacting your business connections. Plan on regular contact with the people who may be beneficial to you and your business somewhere down the line.
Here are some more ways to make an impression on your business contacts.