If you’ve recently attended a networking event, you may have come back with many contacts in your phone as The Muse has recommended. While it is very important to retrieve contacts at a networking event, it is even more important to know what to do with those contacts afterwards.
Connect on LinkedIn
A day or two after the networking event, get out your list of contacts and search for them on LinkedIn. Send connection requests to each of them with a personalized message. Do NOT send the standard automatic message that LinkedIn provides when sending a connection request.
You will want to remind your new contact of how you met and perhaps mention something from your conversation with him. Your goal is to be memorable and to continue building a relationship with your new contact.
If you come across an article or piece of information online that you think would be appealing to your new contact, be sure to share that information through LinkedIn. This is a good way to remind your new contact that you are still there while also providing them some information that may be helpful rather than coming off as only wanting them to give you a job, etc.
If it’s been about a week or two since the networking event, be sure to follow up with your contacts via email or phone. This should be a short and friendly follow up, reminding your contacts that you are still there and interested in discussions, should a need ever pop up requiring your expertise.
Referencing anything learned from your previous communications with the contact is a great way to stay memorable.
For example, if your contact mentioned throwing a birthday party for his daughter over the weekend, mention this and your well wishes in your communications. People like to be remembered and thought of – it will impress your new contact that you remembered something simply mentioned in casual conversation.
Stay in Contact
Do not lose touch with your contacts. Make sure that you have saved all of your contacts along with notes about your conversations and what you have learned about them. Stay in contact every few weeks or so through email or brief phone calls, making sure that you are not forgotten.
When your contacts have a job opening at their company, or if they hear of a job opening at another company, you want to be the first person on their mind. In order to do this, you need to stay in contact and remain fresh in their memory.
What are some other ways you make the most of your contacts after a networking event? Please share your tips in the comments below.