If you have attended a large networking event or conference, you are quite familiar with various sayings such as, “We will chat next week!” or, “Can’t wait to touch base” and perhaps even, “Let’s get that done!” However, as the story sometimes goes, we come back to flooded email inboxes, and start to tackle other projects or ideas and end up never following up on those conference connections that seemed like the best idea at the time. Perhaps just the title of this article triggered you to get to it, but if it did not, here are four tips and a template to get you through.
- Start with a Direct Subject Line. Your new contacts are likely buried up in emails just as you are, so the subject line will help get you some immediate action, or be filed for when it is needed. For instance, in our split placement recruitment network, a great subject line would be your go-to business. Such as “You met a top Cyber Security trading partner last week”. Things to note here are including that they met you, when they met you, and the top skill your connecting might offer them.
- Learn More About Each Other. If you met someone briefly at a like minded networking event, chances are high that there is something you could both learn from one another, even if you did not find it in the quick pace of the event. A good line here is “I think we could mutually benefit from chatting further.” Include a sentence or two about yourself, and then ask for a call or in person coffee meeting to explore your business acumen further. Before the meeting jot down a few core subject topics such as what technology tools they find most useful in business, what they think could propel their business forward further, or even what is a challenge they are facing in their industry.
- Clean up your notes. Spend an hour or so dedicating time to sorting through all of the information you’ve brought back. A few good sections would be Next Steps / Key Learnings / Meeting Details / Session Notes. The main thing here is separating strategy from action. Put those action items in a digital task manager or schedule them out over the next few weeks, and get back to your normal flow knowing you are addressing what you wanted to.
- Get Social. Here is where 2018 lies, the communities on social media that begin off of groups and industries are growing in popularity even more. Make sure to connect with those you’ve met on Linked-In, and those that you have photos or fun memories with, connect with on Facebook as well. Make a single post about your trip/conference and key takeaways, then tag all the old and new friends you met. This is a great way to build community and comradery, as well as pick up the interest of your friends that fall in the same industry and may attend the following year! If the organization has a presence, tag them as well for they might be able to use your post in future marketing efforts!
- A template for getting you going. If you are a copy and paste type of person who wants a way to get this going, here is a super light approach that you can send after making a Linked-In connection to the individual.
Hi [contact’s name],
It was great to meet you in [name of event] on [date]. I had a great time chatting with you about [something you talked about]. On your LinkedIn profile, it says you’re currently focused on [industry they are in or specialty that they do]—and [reason why it relates to you]. Let me know if you’re free to connect for a chat sometime next week to discuss some synergy?