Six Sure-Fire Strategies for Long-Term Follow Up

Article by Donna FeldmanIf you’ve been networking for a while, you most likely have a long list of people you want to connect with on a regular basis. There’s the initial follow-up you do after you first meet someone, but what are you doing to ensure that people will remember you months or even years from now when they (or their friend, family member, co-worker or company) need your service? Good networkers have a plan to keep building their relationships through repeated contact over time.

The type of follow-up you choose and the frequency with which you do it depends on who you’re following up with, the relationship you have with them, and your own personal style. You’ll want to stay in touch with prospects, potential referral sources, clients, former clients, referral partners, and anyone else you think belongs in your follow-up pool.

You can follow up weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. There’s no one-size-fits-all rule. Think about how often you want to be in touch with each particular person in your pool. What’s more important than the frequency of follow-up is that you do keep following up.

Planning your long-term follow-up strategy can be easy. Not sure what to do or where to start? Try some of these ideas:

1. Pick Up the Phone – Call people for no reason other than to check in and say hello.

2. Handwrite a Note – A handwritten note is always appreciated, whether it’s for a holiday, a birthday, thinking of you, thank you, or nice to meet you.

3. Make a Date – Plan a time to get together for coffee, lunch, cocktails or some other in-person meeting.

4. Issue an Invitation – If you’re speaking or presenting, invite people to attend. Or, when you plan to attend an event, invite others to join you.

5. Item of Interest – Send an article by mail or email that you know the person will find of interest. Or, send an article you’ve written or something written about you.

6. News They can Use – As your follow-up list grows, a newsletter with items
of interest is an easy way to keep in touch with people. If you send a newsletter via email, be sure to ask for permission before adding anyone to your list.

Starting now, we challenge you to follow up every week with five people you’re out of touch with!

This article was co-authored by Donna Feldman and Cindy Rold. Donna and Cindy are The Networking Gurus.

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