You rocked the networking event: you had great conversations, you made people laugh, you told great stories, you talked about your company, and you talked to people who might actually be able to help your business. Now what? Don’t do what many people do and throw all the business cards on your desk in a pile and forget about them! Months later, when you want to reconnect with one of those contacts and you can’t remember who it was and what you talked about, it will be too late.
Instead, spend just a few minutes now emailing a short follow-up to the people you met. It’s important to do this when the memory of your conversations are fresh so that your new contacts will remember you.
Here are three things to include in your email:
1. Refer to the event.
- It was great talking to you at the Expo.
- Thanks for taking the time to chat with me after your lecture at the college last week.
2. Refer to something you talked about.
- I enjoyed hearing about your upcoming trip to China.
- It was interesting to learn about your company’s technology.
- I’d be interested in talking to you more about how we might collaborate in the future.
3. Ask for (or give) something that requires a simple or specific response. Don’t overburden the person by asking her to do too much.
- If you’re in this area again, let’s grab a coffee.
- You mentioned that you could put me in touch with John at Company X. Feel free to send him my contact information directly.
- In a separate email I will connect you with my colleague Sue who owns the retail business I told you about.
Finally, in six months or a year later when you need to get in touch with this person, you can reply to your original email thread. That way, the recipient will be able to scroll down to the first email and remind herself how she knows you.