The holiday season is a great opportunity for networking. Holiday parties, events, and family visits provide some of the best networking opportunities of the year. So now that you have been out meeting a lot of contacts – you need to follow up. Meeting a lot of new people is great but you also need to make sure you follow up to make a proper connection with that contact.
Action Point: If you haven’t already done so – follow up with contacts you met over the holiday period.
Here are some suggestions for following up with new people (and existing contacts) that you met at Holiday Parties and Events:
- Send a Note – It is too late to send a Christmas Card but if you got their contact details by exchanging business cards – why not send a handwritten note.
- Send an Email – if a handwritten note is not appropriate, why not simply send a nice follow up email.
- Connect on Social Media – LinkedIn will usually be the most appropriate social network to use to reach out to a new professional contact. Invite them to connect with a personal invite. Twitter can also be an appropriate way to connect – some people will even include their twitter handle on their business cards.
When reaching out to follow up after an event – make it personal. Even if you are following up directly after the event, be sure to include enough information to help the person remember you and what you discussed. Don’t assume that they will remember – help them out.
If you ‘reconnected’ with existing contacts during the holiday period – send them a follow up email to maintain the connection. This is your opportunity to make it a stronger personal connection by being attentive to their interests and (if appropriate) adding them into your follow-up system.