We all know the first impression is important. But very little is mentioned about the just-as-important second impression.
We recently talked about some of the do’s and don’ts of professional networking, but only briefly talked about how important a good second impression is.
Compared to a second impression, the first impression almost seems pretty easy. Anyone can be friendly the first time around, but it’s all about proving that you’re more than just a connection on LinkedIn or a face someone met at a business conference.
Here are some tips from Nicole Smartt, Vice President of Star Staffing, on the best ways for following up with a new connection.
Plan a meeting
Follow up with your new business connection by setting up lunch, coffee or drinks. When contacting them, include an important fact about that person you remember learning from the first meeting. This not only proves you were paying attention in the first place but easily segues into talking points for the upcoming meeting.
Introduce them to a connection
Do you know someone that could benefit from meeting your new connection? There’s no better way to get into both of their good graces by introducing them to each other. “Superconnectors,” as they’re referred to, are great to keep in your network, and even better if you can be one. After meeting for the second time, figure out what your connection’s goals are and see who in your network could help out. This could be as easy as CCing someone in on an email introduction or go the LinkedIn route and introduce them that way.
Set alerts and reminders
Don’t be afraid to set Google Alerts for some of your connections. If you stumble upon news of their promotion or their quote in a news story, congratulate them promptly. This shows you’re actively interested in their growth and professional activities.
Also, consider setting a 30-45-60 reminder system for following up with contacts. Generally, you should have three groups for contacts: Follow up with important contacts every 30 days, slightly beneficial contacts every 45 and then 60 days for everyone else. It might seem a tad callous, but remember that networking is important to build your professional career.
What networking tips do you have? Let us know in the comments below.