On the twenty-eighth entry of Tristan’s Tips, our special guest Tristan Layfield speaks about having an effective networking follow-up strategy and introduces us to the four-step approach he personally uses. Implementing these tips will surely help foster more valuable connections from your networking experiences!
Tristan: What’s going on, y’all? It’s Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting, and I’ve teamed up with Living Corporate to bring you all a weekly career tip. This week, we’re gonna talk about having a networking follow-up strategy. We’ve all gone to really cool networking events, connected with a few people, and ended up exchanging business cards, then we go home and toss them in the ever-growing pile of rectangular paper and move on with our lives. If this how you approach networking, you probably haven’t made too many fruitful connections. If we want to build a solid network to lean on when we need them, then it’s gonna take a bit more than crossing our fingers and hoping they reach out to us. We have to be proactive and take the first steps to connect outside of the event we met them at. Now, there are many ways to follow-up after an event, but I utilize a four-step follow-up strategy that I’d like to introduce you to that has proven to be quite effective for me. First, send them an email within 24 hours of the event. Remind them of who you are, where you met, and something you all spoke about. Tie it all together by asking them to grab a coffee or lunch, and even sweeten the deal by making it your treat. Number two, connect with them on LinkedIn directly after sending your email. This helps them remember who you are by attaching a face to the name. Number three, find a way to be a service to them. This can happen in the email if you’ve identified some ways while you connected at the event, or it can happen after you’ve met up. Remember, networking isn’t just about what they can do for you, so no matter which route you go, be sure to lead by giving and initially expecting nothing in return. The fourth, and quite possibly the most essential, of the steps is to maintain the relationship by setting reminders on your calendar to catch up. This might sound silly, but otherwise you might not do it, and that network connection becomes what we call a “cold connection,” meaning if you reached out to ask for something, it would seem like it’s coming out of left field and that you’re simply trying to use that person. Implementing this proven follow-up strategy will surely help foster more valuable connections from your networking experiences. Remember, it’s necessary to not only build a network, but keep it warm by continually engaging with the people you’ve connected with. This trip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.