Meet, greet and follow-up
As easy as networking is, it’s difficult not to get caught up in what I call “networking ethics.” That to me is working within the perimeters of what networking is all about: You never want to come across as too aggressive or too distant.
As important as the initial meeting is, you’re just shooting blanks if you don’t coordinate meaningful follow-up.
Leave it to Entrepreneur’s Ivan Miser to come up with a seemingly fool-proof method for following up on that special someone. He refers to it as the “24/7/30 System.”
Twenty-four (not the TV show)
The first 24 hours are crucial!
When you meet someone at a networking event, drop them a note within the first 24 hours.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a handwritten note or an email.
What’s important here is that you express that it was a pleasure to meet the individual and you hope your paths cross again.
Seven (not the movie)
Connect with said individual on social media within 7 days.
Make a connection via LinkedIn or Facebook. Follow them on Twitter or join them on Google+. Find ways to connect and engage with them via the social media platforms you use the most. You’re NOT trying to gain anything here other than a more meaningful connection.
Thirty (not the age)
Within 30 days, reach out to them to set up a face-to-face meeting.
Meeting in person is ideal but if distance is an issue there’s always Skype or even the phone. At this meeting, find out more about what they do, and look for ways to help them in some way.
Again, this is not a sales call but rather a relationship-building opportunity.
The logic behind this is almost too simple. It’s common sense really. And thanks to app technology you can easily schedule reminders to yourself so you don’t forget when to follow up.