Set yourself apart from your competitors
It sounds so basic—you should follow-up with those you meet—but at least 95% of the people you meet will not follow-up with you. So think about the last several months … did you do any networking? If so, how many people did you hear from? I’ll bet you know exactly how many and who. You remember those people, right? The people you won’t remember are those who did the basic things like handshaking, exchanging business cards, and giving their “what I do” spiel.
To stand out from everyone else at a networking event you should follow two basic steps:
- Follow-up with anyone you had a significant conversation with and anyone with whom you have established a next step, like planning a meeting.
- Use or create a contact management system so you can keep track of everyone you meet and know when to follow-up and what to follow-up about. If you find a solution you are comfortable using, you will be most likely to keep up with it. You can choose one of the many software solutions available, use the Contact Relationship Management Tool below, create your own Excel spreadsheet or use a paper filing system. Regardless of what method you use, it should provide you with a way to easily retrieve contact information and help you to organize your follow-up next steps.
The resources below will help you create a follow-up strategy to help you stand apart from your competitors.
Networking Thank-you Letter Template: A sample networking letter to give you some ideas of what to write
Contact Management Strategies: Tips and guidelines for actively managing your contacts
Don’t Flop the Follow-up: Follow-up guidelines that will set you apart from your competitors
Contact Relationship Management Tool: A tool to help you manage your contacts so you can follow-up more effectively.
Follow-up Idea Generator and Calendar Template – Use this document to help you generate unique follow-up ideas and to manage your follow-up strategy with a calendar template.