At Sendio, we believe a strong professional network is invaluable, potentially providing opportunities to advance your career, increasing your efficiency and effectiveness at work and establishing a personal brand being just a few of the advantages. With so many potential benefits, how does one intentionally build out these contacts in a seemingly natural way? Here are a few ideas to help you compose an effective follow-up email.
Whether in person or in follow-up communication, open a conversation addressing what you have in common and close with how you can help the other person. Do your best to send any post-networking communication as soon as possible to ensure they remember you. Here are some options for your subject line:
- Take a general approach. For example, “Great meeting you at [event name] last night”. In this type of subject line, it’s important to include specific information about the location and time you met.
- Refer to something you have in common with the person i.e. “University of Arizona grads in LA”.
Connect the body of your networking email to a conversation during the event. For example, mention connections you have in their industry and ask whether they have any interest in meeting them. If they do, send a follow-up email confirming whether the address used is the best to send an introduction to and if they would be interested in joining you and the contact for coffee. It’s always a good idea to take a few notes on the back of their business card to remind you what was discussed. Use this specific information in your follow-up by sharing a closely-related piece of news. Ask what sources they get their industry news from, do what you can to get a conversation going. Once a few emails are exchanged, invite them for coffee or lunch.
If you meet people new to your industry or area, or who enjoy going to networking events, make sure to get their business card or contact information. Use email follow-up to suggest favorite restaurants or coffee shops and to forward them invitations to other professional events. When meeting especially influential individuals, it may be trickier to pinpoint a way you can help them. If this is the case, ask if you can write an article or blog post about them. Another great way to build the connection is asking them to speak at an event you’re planning.
In closing your follow-up message, thank them for their time. Kindly let them know you’re trying to plan out your calendar and if they could respond with their availability within the next few weeks it would be greatly appreciated. This serves as a call to action and increases your chance of receiving a prompt reply.