So, you have finally had your first virtual networking event. If things went as smoothly as they should have, then you must have the contact details of some of the participants. If so, then following up with them should be your next step. But how exactly do you follow up after hosting a virtual networking event?
Step-By-Step Guide On Following Up With Other Participants
Getting the contact details of another participant after the virtual networking event is just one step towards building a relationship. It is essential to show them that they are valuable to you and you are to them. The best way for you to do this is through a follow-up.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can follow up with a fellow participant:
Plan Your Follow Up
Before the actual follow-up, you need first to plan your actions. You need to consider things such as your timing, location, and objectives. To prepare your follow-up, list the things you plan to achieve by reconnecting with your fellow participant. Try to answer these questions:
- Were promises exchanged between you two?
- If there were promises between you two, do you plan on asserting them?
- How can you help the other person?
- What do you plan to get out of following up with them?
Try to remember and list down important personal and professional information about them. The last thing you would want is to make the other person feel like you are mistaking them for another participant. By doing this, you will also be able to address the other person correctly.
Send Them A Pre-Follow Up Letter
Calling a fellow participant out of nowhere can damage your relationship. You never know when the other person is busy or unavailable for a call. So, the best way to avoid this is to send a follow-up letter first.
A follow-up letter can be an email or text message. It can be in any form as long as it will not interfere with your recipient if they are doing something urgent. Your letter should include the following:
- Your name and contact information
- Any information to help them remember you (i.e., notable events between you two during the virtual networking event or previous conversations)
- The name of the person with the proper address (i.e., Doctor, Attorney, etc.)
- Ask them when they are available for a follow-up call.
- Ask them for the best way to contact them. (i.e., video call, phone call, etc.)
The best time to send your follow-up letter is at most 24 hours after the event. The reason for this is so that you are still fresh in their memories when they read your letter.
Reach Out To Your Contact
Now that you have scheduled a call with the other participant, it is time for you to call them. Before contacting them, make sure to prepare yourself. Refresh your memory on key information about the other person. Keep a list beside you of crucial things you want to discuss with them.
During the call, make sure to introduce yourself first. Provide the other person with the same name that you gave them during the previous virtual networking event. By doing this, it will be easier for them to recall your name in the future.
Follow-up calls no longer have to be as formal as your previous virtual networking event. So, keep your introduction short and simple. A lengthy introduction may immediately bore the person you are talking to. Hence, they will no longer have the energy to focus on the more essential things you plan to discuss.
Remind Them Of Your Previous Engagement
Like your follow-up letter, try to bring up something from the online networking event you both attended. Doing so will make it easier for you to get the conversation rolling. It will also remind you both of why you connected in the first place. Even better, the other person may remember any help they may have promised to give you.
Offer To Help Your Contact
Connections made through networking events are always a give-and-take type of relationship. Never will it be about just one person asking for help from another. Hence, it is a crucial step for you to proactively ask the other participant if there is any way you can help them with their business, job or other parts of their life.
Ask For Help If Needed
Do not feel shy about asking for help. By connecting with you, the other person will expect some benefit from you. So, it is normal for them also to expect you to ask for their help. Make sure to state how they can help you clearly. Avoid beating around the bush and directly explain your need.
Exchange Social Media Or Networking Accounts
If you could not get their social media handles or online networking accounts in the past, now is your chance. If you plan on having a professional relationship with them, then your LinkedIn account will be the best account to give. Otherwise, your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts can be good alternatives.
Try To Set A Future Meeting
If things go well, try to set a future call with them. A face-to-face meeting is best if it is possible. You can also invite them to have a group call with other participants to make your connections wider. However, make sure to consider their schedule as you did before. If needed, you might look into online networking software.
Thank Them For Their Time
Their time, like yours, is important. Hence, make sure to show your appreciation by giving them a simple thank you. You can also repeat this by sending another short message after the call.