You’ve returned from a networking event with a stack of business cards and a sparkle in your eye. And all excited about the new people you just met! The promise of future business relationships lurking around the corner.
Then reality hits: Back at the office there are 100 emails that require attention, voice messages to respond to, mail, actually executing on the work that’s already in your pipeline, the list goes on and on.
But, there on the corner of your desk sits the stack of business cards you collected at the last networking event.
You say to yourself, “I’ll get to those, just as soon as I get caught up with these other urgent things…”
Sure you’ll get right to those business cards.
I’m not holding my breath because it’s happened to me as well.
Here’s the deal: If you don’t have a system in place to take advantage of these new connections, you’ll likely not connect with those people again. Then what was the point of going to the event in the first place?
Here are some steps I recommend for after the networking event:
- Have a system for dealing with the business cards ASAP.
- Connect with each person on LinkedIn.
- Arrange follow-up meetings, where applicable.
- Add these contacts to your tickler system.
I generally feel that life is too busy with too many events and demands on our schedules. So, if you aren’t going to DO something with the contacts you’ve gained at an event, might I suggest that you stay home, relax and eat bonbons instead. At least your lazy bone will appreciate the break.
What do you do with your new contacts after a networking event? Leave your comments in the box below; I love to see other people’s ideas for improving networking.
To your career success!