All too often we get an idea, maybe a marketing plan or sales strategy, and we’re gung ho and energized for a short time. However, when we don’t see immediate results, we back off or back down, leave things half-done, and move onto the next thing.

This is often how many of us approach networking. We attend events or put ourselves in worthwhile networking situations, “work” them for awhile, and then drop them- maybe because we’re distracted or follow up is harder than we thoughts or because we don’t immediately get the reaction we wanted. The follow-up component Networking is a good example of “unfinished business”

There is no question we are living in an age where immediate gratification is expected and for some of us, essential to finishing something. The fact is, networking results are not always immediate. Add to that the fact that some experts say only 3 of 10 people actually follow up, and it’s no wonder that it seems nothing gets finished.

When it comes to following up after networking, the following rules apply:

  1. Always do what you say you’ll do. Networking is one scenario where credibility and integrity are key to building networks, don’t make promises you cannot or will not keep.
  2. Under promise and over deliver. If you said you’ll send the documents or email a contact name in a day or two, the recipient will be pleasantly surprised if the information arrives the next day. If you said you’d do one thing, surprise the recipient by doing something extra- wow them.
  3. Be honest. If you only met someone once, don’t imply that you are old friends when you pass their name on to someone else. It won’t take long before people figure out that you are full of baloney.
  4. Take others up on their offers. If someone suggests you could call to discuss something or to make an appointment to talk more, do it.
  5. Always aim for the decision-maker. If you discover that the person you are following up with cannot really help you, ask them to direct you to the person who can. Third-party referrals are an easy foot in the door.
  6. Show your appreciation. Get in the habit of sending thank you cards, small gifts or showing appreciation in an impromptu or unexpected way. People will remember that you remembered them.