One of the critical techniques within the art form of networking is understanding how to effectively follow up with potential customers, contacts and partners. You don’t want to annoy of offend someone, but at the same time, if you’re too passive, an opportunity might pass you by.
There is plenty you can do to refine your follow-up technique. From all the events and networking support that we’ve provided to our members at Bx, here are some hot tips to make sure you’re making the most of your networking follow-ups:
- Prompt Follow-Ups: After an initial meeting or event, promptly follow up within 24-48 hours. It demonstrates your interest and keeps the conversation fresh in everyone’s minds. You also want to be the first one to follow up, if possible, to show your enthusiasm for the opportunity.
- Personalise Your Message: Tailor your follow-up message. Reference a topic you discussed or something unique about the individual or the conversation to show you were actively engaged. It really is obvious when you get copy-pasted and templated emails, and that will often sour the other person’s impression of you.
- xpress Gratitude: Always xpress gratitude for the time and conversation shared. It’s essential to acknowledge and appreciate the other person’s time.
- Provide Value: If your follow-up is nothing more than a sales pitch, it’s going to be very easy to move to the email trash can. Offer something of value in your follow-up, whether it’s a resource, an article, or a piece of information that aligns with the conversation. This showcases your willingness to contribute.
- Be Clear in Your Intentions: Clearly state your reason for following up. Whether it’s for further discussion, collaboration, or even just to stay in touch, clarity is key.
- Follow Through on Promises: If you promised to provide something or set up another meeting, make sure to follow through. It builds trust and reliability.
- Stay Consistent: Regular, periodic follow-ups are essential for maintaining the relationship. It keeps the connection alive and shows your commitment. Don’t worry if this seems one-sided, and don’t wait for the other person to take the initiative. It’s more important that you keep communicating, even if the other party simply prefers to respond to your outreaches.
- Leverage Multiple Channels: Utilise various communication channels – email, social media, or even a handwritten note – to diversify and reinforce your message, and make sure that you’re easy to find if the other person is looking for you.
- Be Patient: Understand that not everyone responds immediately. Give the person time to revert. Patience is key in networking.
- Ask for Feedback: Invite feedback or suggestions on how you can improve or add value. It shows your willingness to learn and grow.
- Don’t Be Generic: As mentioned above, avoid generic, templated follow-ups. They come off as insincere and diminish the value of your outreach. For this same reason, do not leverage AI to do the writing. AI writing tools might look impressive, but all they do is draw information that they’ve already had input into the system. By default, this content will therefore be generic.
- Avoid Being Pushy: While follow-ups are important, don’t overdo it. Bombarding someone with multiple messages can be off-putting. A good rule of thumb is to follow-up no more than three times, with 2-3 days between outreaches.
- Don’t ignore their response: When you do get a response, be sure to action it instantly (unless it comes in between work hours). You want to be as responsive as you are proactive with the follow-ups.
- Don’t Just Talk About Yourself: A follow-up isn’t a platform to talk solely about yourself or your achievements. Keep the focus on the other person and the shared conversation. There’s a good rule here that your email should have a ration of at least two “you’s” for every one “I” or “we”.
- Avoid Making Assumptions: Don’t assume the recipient remembers every detail of your initial interaction. Provide context and refresh their memory if needed.
- Don’t Overpromise: Be cautious with promises. Only commit to what you can realistically deliver to avoid disappointment or loss of credibility.
- Don’t Overlook Relevance: Ensure your follow-up is relevant and timely. Sending unrelated or outdated information can be counterproductive.
- Avoid Neglecting Follow-Up on Connections: Even if you feel a connection might not yield immediate benefits, don’t neglect to follow up. You never know when it might become valuable, and often a follow-up early on can lead to a business opportunity years down the track that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
- Don’t Burn Bridges: Even if a connection doesn’t seem immediately fruitful, avoid dismissing or disregarding the relationship. Networking is about long-term connections.
More than anything else, just remember to be genuine. Networking is, ultimately, about people connecting with other people, and we would all prefer to connect with a real person than a “slick salesperson” type… no matter how good they are at that particular role.
Follow these best practices and you’ll find that your emails and follow-up calls are getting some xceptional traction!
Since 2015, Bx® has helped thousands of businesses create meaningful, long-lasting referral partnerships to unlock an abundance of leads quickly. We do this by ensuring every meeting we run is professional yet fun, and it must follow our award-winning & proven formula, which does not include selling to each other! Our members also have access to world-leading business education resources and live & pre-recorded training programs worth more than $20,000. Start your journey to become the business owner you were born to be by downloading your FREE 4-Part Video Series, “How to Generate Income by Networking,” and then opting for a FREE Trial Membership to Bx® (Valued at $199), which includes two complimentary meeting tickets to xperience Business Networking Reimagined for yourself!