Create a mind map
Right after leaving your networking event, group the business cards of potential leads and create a follow-up spreadsheet on your computer. In that spreadsheet, create different columns to include the following information : what stood out to you in that particular conversation, an important detail of your interaction and why your relationship with that person or their company could be beneficial.
It’s important to create this spreadsheet directly after the event, as it will help you avoid memory lapses and will greatly help you with the composition of your follow-up emails.
The second step is to actually start writing your email. While some chose to draft a generic template, sending a collective message isn’t the route we recommend. We believe it is essential to send a personalized email to each of your new contacts.
Finally, you must send your follow-up email at most 2 days after the networking event. The more you wait, the less impact your email will have. You want to ensure your new contact will not only remember you, but will also feel valued.
Mention an aspect of your conversation that stood out
Start your email by thanking your recipient and by pointing out a detail of your conversation that stood out to you. This will show them you paid attention to your discussion and that you have taken an interest in them.
The first sentences of your email are decisive. It is therefore imperative they grip your reader’s attention. For example, your first sentence could take the shape of a compliment directed to a project they are working on, or about an aspect of their company that you find remarkable.
Sometimes writing these first sentences comes more naturally with research. We suggest having a glance at their LinkedIn profile and company website. Once you have found common interests, drafting your email will be easier.
Show them why you think they should pursue this conversation
After stating your interest, show them why you think this conversation is worth pursuing. What can you offer them? And how would you meet their needs?
Remember, it is not necessary to go into too much detail. A sentence or two is enough to show them that your conversation should be continued, and that it could flourish into a mutually beneficial business relationship.
Be careful not to include any suggestions or commentary on the services and tools they offer. This could be seen as inappropriate and, if necessary, can be reserved for a later conversation.
Finish your email with an open-ended statement
If you feel as though your conversation during the networking conference went well and ought to be continued, then don’t hesitate to organise a call with them or even ask to meet them for coffee.
This is a good way to ensure that the person is interested in developing a business relationship with you. This will also give you the opportunity to open the conversation and elaborate on other relevant topics.
Above all, always keep it simple
This may seem like a lot of information to fit into a few sentences, but we strongly recommend writing a short email and restricting yourself to five or six sentences.
A couple sentences are enough to show your interest and lay out a strong foundation for your business relationship. To map out your email, follow the different sections of this article and write on average one or two sentences per section.
Don’t preoccupy yourself with adding too many details. Instead, make sure your sentences are straight to the point and grab your reader’s attention. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to develop your ideas during your meeting or your call.