Right vs. Wrong
Considering that follow up is a quintessential part of relationship building, there are indeed right and wrong ways to go about it. For starters, DeNucci emphasizes the non-aggressive approach that avoids a heavy sales pitch which is a major turn-off. What is too aggressive? “Adding the person to your subscription list for your e-newsletter, blog or program without their permission,” DeNucci says. “I really hate this! It’s usually an automatic ‘unsubscribe’ for me.”
Instead, she recommends sending a brief but gracious handwritten note (yes, via snail mail) or even an e-mail or voicemail reiterating how much you enjoyed meeting the person. “Be sure to thank them for anything they did to make you feel good or anything they may have offered to you,” DeNucci says. “It’s totally okay to invite them to stay in touch or call on you if you can be of service to them in the future.”
But buyers beware: everyone you meet may not be open to your efforts. “An invitation to coffee or lunch can be a welcomed invitation after you meet someone,” DeNucci says. “Or it may put undue pressure on the other person if they are very busy or not ready to meet one-on-one with you”
Although the key is to not take rejection personally it’s important to always be gracious, respectful and ask how you may help them as well. “Most effective follow ups show enthusiasm, interest and appreciation for the other person’s time,” Krasna notes. Even if the new contact declines your offer, keep in mind that it’s a courtship.
Relationships can yield results not only for your job search but your overall career. “Relationships require careful attention and maintenance,” DeNucci says. Which brings to mind another old saying “You reap what you sew.” But with networking and follow up be sure to “sow” carefully!
Vicki Salemi is an author, public speaker, and recruiter with 15 years of corporate experience. She’s the author of Big Career in the Big City and is also a global freelance journalist the past 14 years covering careers, entertainment and lifestyle. Learn more info on VickiSalemi.com and follow her on Twitter @VickiSalemi