Everyone knows that building relationships (or ‘networking’) is the key a successful life. Even outside of the business world, who you know is usually more important than what you know.
If you want to kick your relationship building skills into the next level, you must master one skill: effective follow up.
Josiah Mackenzie, over at the YoungEntrepreneur.com blog, has some great thoughts about that here:
Perhaps the most neglected component of business networking is followup. It’s literally the only way to develop long-term relationships through networking — you must follow up with new people you meet.
Soon after meeting someone, send them a short email, or better yet, a handwritten note. Express your appreciation for meeting them, and refer back to a topic you discussed during your conversation. Double the communication method — and effectiveness — by calling them the next morning. Your goal is to cement yourself in their memory. You’ve only met them once, remember.
“Pinging” is a blogging term that means to notify a script every time you update your blog. When transferred to the world of business networking, it means to stay in touch with your contacts consistently: month after month, year after year.
This is your opportunity to add value to your contact. Send him information beneficial to his business. Send her contact information for people you know she would enjoy meeting. Make yourself so valuable to people that they can’t afford to forget you.
By not keeping yourself before people, you risk the chance of them forgetting about you. Make sure to followup, both immediately and continually, to build lasting relationships.