Networking: How to Continue the Conversation

We’ve all been there: you’re at an event and happen to meet someone amazing – your mind goes into overdrive thinking of all the exciting possibilities of collaboration. Now that the meeting is done and gone, how do you reach out in a way that’ll create a great basis for a working relationship?

Find them online

Before the internet came along, people relied on phone numbers, postal addresses and even mutual gathering spots and friends to stay in touch with the remarkable people they met. These days the internet is on our side, making most people easily accessible with the click of a mouse.

Do your homework. Given you know their first name, who they’re connected to and what they do for a living, your chances of finding them online are pretty high. This is no time to be coy – once you’ve found them I encourage you to follow, like and repost some of the relevant things they are sharing with their online community (don’t overdo it though!). If they have an email address somewhere in their bio – bingo! If not, a private message will still do the trick.

Don’t leave it too long

See that? That’s your impression slowly disappearing into the horizon. Don’t let it go! The time to reach out is now – give it a day to a week and no longer than that. Send that message and reconnect while the thought of who you are is still fresh in their mind – it’ll only strengthen the chances of partnering up.

Get it right, make it warm and have an ask

One of the most important things to remember is to spell the person’s name correctly. Seems like a no-brainer right? Wrong. If you have complicated name like I do, I know you can relate. When people spell my name wrong, my eyes automatically roll and I’ve checked out before their email has even begun. You don’t want that to happen to your new found acquaintance.

Bring in some warmth by reminding them where you met, and if you remember a specific moment where they mentioned a common interest or something meaningful to them – include it in your message. It indicates you particularly remembered them despite meeting others at the same event. Even if you ran into them where there were no other people, or were introduced one on one, letting them know they made an impression will make them feel important – and hey, who doesn’t like to feel important?

Now here’s where you sprinkle your purpose into the mix. Don’t end your message by just “dropping by to say hello”, make sure you give them an opportunity or a reason to respond to you. Ask them if they’d like to meet again (and why) or even ask them a simple question based on their expertise. It opens the door for further communication and allows you to start developing your relationship from there.

Okay so there were a little more than three tips included here but I hope you find all useful and effective the next time you reach out to reconnect and network with the amazing people you meet. Remember, networking is like any other human relationship – it takes time. Reaching out and continuing the conversation is the first step to hopefully what is a great, long lasting working relationship.

Want to know more about how we can help you achieve your networking goals? Read more about Talanoa and our services

Photo credit: @msmelev

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