Not everyone in the workforce today considers themselves and extrovert or even adept at networking. But even though networking may be essential for your career, it doesn’t change the fact that meeting new people can be a daunting task when you’re not prepared or equipped. For shy and introverted professionals, it can be downright terrifying. But what if you had a perfect three-step guide to help you take all the right steps after you meet someone new? Before your next networking meeting or business function, consider these three things to make sure you’re getting the best out of your new connections.
1. Take notes as soon as possible.
As soon as you are able, write down the most important aspects of your meeting. Write down things that will help you remember your conversation and the individual in general. Write down everything that you think will be pertinent to future interactions. You can also make notes about how you think you can be of service to them as well.
2. Connect on LinkedIn.
After you meet them in person, take that professional relationship online. Request a connection through LinkedIn. Don’t forget to customize the message to ensure they remember you and have a reason to accept your request. For example, reference your conversation and reiterate how wonderful it was to meet them.
3. Set a reminder to follow up.
Once you’ve done these two things, flip ahead in your calendar and create a reminder to follow up with them. If you use an electronic calendar system, like Google Calendar, create an event 2 weeks or a month out. Make sure you are able to access your notes as well so you can reference your original conversation in your follow-up. If you use a desk calendar, flip forward a few weeks and write it down to remind yourself. Following up is a huge part of networking and without this step, meeting new people in the business community is simply not effective.
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