Here is some straight-forward advice on the importance of following up with networking leads and connections that other people offer you. It’s about courtesy, image, staying current and your visibility and mobility.
- Courtesy – Your referrer has invested in you by giving you a connection. They didn’t have to share this information, but chose to. Your follow-up is the return on that investment. You also want to demonstrate that you’re worthy of future investment.
- Image – How you respond to the connections you receive represents who you are to both the referrer and the connection. That is, your follow-up is the tangible example of what it’s like to work with you and/or be your friend. You ARE your follow-up to these people.
- Staying Current – There is no better way to stay current than with the practical application of new ideas, technology or approaches. You can and should read everything you can get your hands on. Learning from (that is, following up with) people outside your routine that have different experiences simply can’t be replaced for up-to-the-minute applied intelligence.
- Visibility and Mobility – You manage your personal visibility and mobility by accumulating connections that are motivated to share information about ideas and opportunities. These valuable connections are most likely to be outside your close circles. They have access to different information pools than you do. If they have a positive image of you, they might be more motivated to help you. Accumulating more “distant” connections that are motivated to share information demands follow-up.
Not all connections merit the same quality/frequency/intensity of response. They aren’t all equally on-target. Yet, all of them deserve courteous follow-up that burnishes your image.
Here’s to your networking success!
p.s. Connect with me – here’s my LinkedIn.com profile
About the writer: Claudia Lindsey is an insurance professional with a diverse background in marketing and distribution, strategic planning, operations and business/IT interface. Her experience spans property and casualty companies, healthcare companies and independent insurance brokerages. Follow-up and its close cousin, collaboration, are cornerstones of her leadership style. Claudia is based in West Hartford, Connecticut. To contact Claudia, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 860-690-0714