Following up is key to starting any successful networking relationship. But the timing and strategy behind your follow up are also essential. Do not be sloppy or negligent in your approach. You want to maintain your professionalism and continue to display a good impression. In your follow up, consider including a direct or meaningful call to action. This not only guarantees a response from the recipient but can also gauge their interest and commitment in doing future business.
First and foremost, reach out to your counterpart in a timely manner. Use this an opportunity to show that you are serious and focused. Connecting with the other person also can make you memorable and still on their radar. Thus, they are less likely to forget you or what you do. The quicker you respond back the less likely you are to forget the other person, as well.
Secondly, be professional in your approach. Do not engage in any hard selling or marketing. Simply re-introduce yourself and mention something that was discussed in the initial conversation or interaction. Highlight any shared interests, overlapping networks and mention the reason for wanting to stay in touch.
Last but not least, state your call to action. This is a one sentence piece which elaborates the need to further meet and build relations. Perhaps it can be at another networking event, a one-on-one session, meeting, a coffee or a meal. Make sure you state how you would like to meet up and give reasonable a time frame. Be assertive and direct without being aggressive and pushy. Definitely give your counterpart time to respond and options for flexibility.
Hopefully, these tips can direct you in a positive way towards building quality relationships. The key takeaways are being professional and strategic in your approach.