Art of Following Up: How To Make Your Connections Last

Art of Following Up: How To Make Your Connections Last

Published on: May 9, 2024

Making new contacts is just your starting point. To really make your network work, you've got to keep those connections strong. After meeting someone, remember the following steps to follow up and build a lasting bond:

1. Send a Thank You Note

When you meet someone new, sending a thank you note quickly leaves a lasting impression. Make this message personal to strengthen the bond you've started to build. Include where you met and some key points of your conversation. 

Doing this within a day or two helps keep your interaction fresh in their mind. It shows professionalism and courtesy, and people tend to appreciate the gesture, setting the stage for a positive ongoing connection. This simple act of gratitude can make you stand out among the many faces they encounter.

2. Reach Out on Socials

Follow or connect with them on a social networking platform. Mention something specific from your meeting. This shows you value the connection and pay attention to details. It makes your invite stand out and starts your online relationship on a strong note.

3. Share Something Useful

Sharing something useful, like a thought-provoking article or an upcoming event, demonstrates your attention to detail and your investment in the relationship. It's a way to show that the conversation you had was meaningful to you and that you've kept their interests and needs in mind. This kind of gesture enriches your connection, proving that you're not just interested in what you can gain but also in providing value to them. 

By taking the time to send information they might find interesting or helpful, you’re laying the groundwork for a reciprocal, supportive partnership. It subtly emphasizes your role as a resourceful and considerate connection. This approach not only keeps the conversation going beyond your initial meeting but also sets a positive tone for future interactions.

4. Propose a Catch-Up

Suggesting a casual catch-up like grabbing a coffee or having a virtual chat is a great step towards deepening the relationship you've started. Keep the invitation informal and stress that the idea is simply to learn more about each other, not to immediately pursue any business agendas. This approach indicates that you value the relationship on a personal level, beyond just professional gains. 

By focusing on building rapport and understanding before diving into potential collaborations or deals, you establish a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect. It shows you're in it for the long haul, appreciating the importance of genuinely knowing the people in your network. This kind of personal approach makes your new contact feel valued as an individual, fostering a stronger, more enduring connection.

5. Regular Check-Ins Are Good

Sending a brief message occasionally can significantly strengthen your connection with someone. It could be a simple holiday greeting, a birthday wish, or a congratulations note on a recent achievement. These small gestures show that you think of them and respect your relationship beyond professional interests. This consistent yet unintrusive communication keeps you in their thoughts and helps maintain a warm and friendly relationship. It's a way to keep the bond active and show genuine interest in their well-being and success.

6. Help Without Asking Back

If you see a chance to help, do it. Don't keep score. Good vibes tend to come back around.

7. Ask Their Opinion

Asking for someone's opinion is a powerful way to deepen a connection. It signals respect for their expertise and shows that you value their thoughts. When you seek advice, you open a door for meaningful exchange, fostering a stronger relationship. This not only enriches your knowledge but also makes them feel appreciated and important. Engaging in such dialogue can lead to mutual respect and potentially invaluable insights, setting the stage for a more collaborative and supportive dynamic in your network.

8. Make Introductions

When you introduce one connection to another within your network, you act as a bridge between individuals who can potentially benefit from each other. This thoughtful action highlights your willingness to support others and create value without immediate personal gain. 

Making an introduction can spark new opportunities not just for the individuals involved but for you as well, fostering a culture of mutual support and collaboration. It demonstrates your role as a valuable and active member of your professional community, enhancing your reputation and strengthening the network as a whole. Bridging connections shows you are invested in the success of your peers, contributing to a stronger, more interconnected network.

Following up is super important but doesn't have to be hard. Keep it sincere and simple, and you'll see those one-time meetings turn into meaningful ties.