Everyone gets caught up in the craziness of work, family and other commitments. Invariably, some things fall through the cracks. For many, that’s follow-up and follow through with regard to your networking efforts. If that sounds like you, here’s one piece of advice: today is a new day and it’s not too late to follow up.
As a rule, when you meet somebody at a networking function or conduct a one-on-one, it’s good form to follow up within three days. This may sound like a bit of a formality, but it really is another level of the networking process. Since your meeting, that person may have thought of somebody who might be a lead or referral source for you. A simple follow-up after your meeting keeps you front-of-mind.
Now, if this is something you have been negligent on in the past, guess what? You can be a better networker today by simply making a phone call or dropping an e-mail to those you did not follow up with. Most people understand that everybody is busy and that some things do slide, particularly during the summer. A belated follow-up might rekindle the networking and lead to new business.
The most important thing about networking is consistency. Attend a certain number of events per month. Conduct X number of one-on-ones per month with people you meet at events or those who are part of your networking group. Then follow up with those individuals within three days. Yet perhaps as important as doing all those things is NOT beating yourself up too badly if you don’t.
It may sound rather Pollyanna, pie-in-the-sky, but today is another day. You can spend that day being ticked off at yourself for not doing your follow-up or setting up one-on-ones or you can send out that follow up note and apologize for not doing so sooner. Better yet, give that person a call. The fact is you can be a better networker today by forgiving yourself for what you should have done and taking action today. Simple as that.