People spend a lot of time and money on networking. They see it as a way to make new contacts, increase business etc.
The question is, after making an initial contact, are they doing anything to follow up after the fact to take the new potential relationship to the next level?
My guess is a large majority of the people are doing absolutely nothing. They make the initial contact, exchange contact information, share some brief thoughts and then nothing.
Others might follow up with a quick email thanking the other person (or people) for meeting etc (I do as little networking as possible but when I do meet new people I tend to follow up with a quick email).
How much more powerful would this be if, instead of sending an email, you followed up with a handwritten note? How many handwritten notes do you receive? When I receive an email, it quickly gets put into the appropriate folder and frequently will never be seen again. On the other hand, if I were to receive handwritten note, it would carry a great deal more weight with me and it would certainly be remembered.
Once you send a note (handwritten or email) what do you do next? Do you put their contact information into an address book only to never be seen again? Or, do you use some type of CRM (customer relationship management program) to keep track of customers, potential sales etc? There are many CRM’s out there, some are good, some are crap. Most importantly, pick one and use it. It takes time to enter the information etc initially but the time it takes short term will be well worth it long term in potential opportunities etc.
When you meet new people, take the time to follow up with them directly and then take the time to track their information so you can best utilize your contacts in the future.
Just something to think about.
Have a great day!