In our post How to network like a pro we talked about networking and how to do it effectively, but what happens after that? How do you keep in touch with the networks you’ve created and ensure they are useful for you?
The key lies in how you record the information you’re gathering on your new contacts and how you approach your interactions with them.
Our top tip? Create a spreadsheet! It doesn’t need to be complicated but if you keep a basic spreadsheet for example with columns listing:
- date you first met/interacted
- brief comments/agreed next steps
- and, most importantly, one of two key personal details that you know about the person. We’re not talking about random gossip here! What we mean is, do they have a family, did they mention they were going on holiday somewhere, did they highlight a TV show or sport they love? Whatever little titbits you get from someone around their interests, make a note. This way, when you next communicate with that person, you have an easy ice-breaker to start the conversation with – it will impress them that you have remembered to ask after their partner/kids and chatting to someone about something they genuinely like helps build rapport.
Keeping a spreadsheet will also help you to track when you should be following up with someone, even if it’s just to keep connected.