5 Networking Follow Ups That Are Better Than Email

You’ve met a valuable contact, and you’d like to build a relationship with them. How should you follow up? Most people would send an email.

The problem? Emails get lost and ignored. As of 2018, 124.5 billion business emails were sent and received each day. The average professional will receive about 90 emails per day with CEOs and senior executives receiving many more.

If you want to get a busy professional’s attention, get out of their inbox. Here are five ways you can level up your follow up game, and start building more valuable relationships.

  1. Set up your next meeting in person. When you meet a person, with whom you’d like to build a relationship, think of a reason you need to meet with them again, and set up the next meeting before you exit your conversation. A reason for a follow up meeting request could be: learning more about a topic you discussed, presenting an idea, helping them with a project, or asking them to do an activity you know they enjoy. You’ll never have their undivided attention more than you do when you’re speaking with them one-on-one, which makes this the best time to schedule your next meeting.

“Hey Michael. It’s Jack Lawson. Really enjoyed our conversation at Bistro Annie’s last night. So nice chatting with another foodie. Alexandra’s, the restaurant we were talking about, is having a soft opening on Thursday night from 6–8pm. I plan on going and wanted to let you know in case you’re in the area and want to check it out. Hope to see you there.”

With any luck, your contact will show up, and you can have another great conversation and schedule your next meeting. But even if they don’t, you’ve given them valuable information and gone beyond the generic email follow up requesting a meeting. Your next attempt at contacting them will likely be received positively.

Keep in mind, all of these initiatives need to be genuine and are dependent on having a good initial conversation that is used to get to know your new contact better. Asking thoughtful questions and keeping your conversation about them is essential for discovering a tidbit you can use for a good follow up. Email is not a bad way to communicate and can be an effective way to network. The point of this post is not to discourage its use, it’s to encourage taking your initial follow up out of their inbox so you stand out. Once you’ve established a relationship, you can use whatever method of communication you both like; for many people, that’s email. The same rules applies regardless of how you choose to communicate: (1) Make it about them. (2) Add value.

This post first appeared on the Kortivity blog.

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Husband, father, sailor, and entrepreneur.

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