Networking Tip #5: Stay in touch; Follow up
This is the critical last step. It is important to keep reaching out after that initial contact. This is the step in the networking process that builds and solidifies relationships.
When you reach out, make sure that it is personalized to you and the person that you are connecting with. They might have a preference for certain days of the week.
In general, I follow up between 2 to 4 weeks after initial contact to let them know how I am doing and to ask what they are up to. You can reach out much sooner – closer to 2 weeks – if they gave you some advice that required you to take some concrete actions to let them know how it worked out or if any questions arose.
It is important that you keep track of when you last connected and when you first connected.
This will help you plan who to connect with when. Another key component to take note of is their communication preferences.
Make sure you know how they prefer to communicate so that each time you set up an appointment you connect with them the same way unless invited to connect in a new way.
I have some connections that enjoy video calling to see other people and some connections that prefer phone calls because it is easier and gives them a break from all their work video meetings.
You should also make sure to take notes as you continue to follow-up.
Your connection might reveal special family events (birthday or anniversary), details about their upbringing, and other personal details that can really strengthen the relationship from a connection into a long-term relationship.