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The Anatomy of a Perfect Networking Follow-Up Email

Salespeople are always networking -- whether they're at a conference, in line at the coffee shop, at the gym, or even on vacation. And a lot of networking requires a lot of follow up to keep the exchange going.

Even if a person isn't a potential prospect, they could still be a good connection to have in your network. Maybe they're an influencer in the industry. Perhaps they could be a referral source. They might even be a hiring manager at a company you're looking to join.

No matter the specific circumstance, you'll want to send a memorable and response-worthy note after the initial meeting. After all, to strike up any type of relationship, you'll need to maintain the conversation past the event.

Here's a customizable email template you can send after any networking event:
Let's break down the components:

1) Greeting

Use the person's first name to establish a tone of friendly familiarity.

2) Mind Your Manners

Include a phrase in the spirit of "nice to meet you," or thank them for accepting you to their network if you're writing a LinkedIn message. A little common courtesy goes a long way (and it's not as common as you might think).

3) Identify the Place

Conferences are networking hotbeds. If you met this person at a large event, remind them of specifically where and when you met -- for example, after Y session or during X dinner. Merely saying "we met at Z event" might not be enough to jog their memory.

4) Reference the Conversation

Make it even easier for the person to call up your meeting by giving a brief recap of what you talked about. Focus on what they said and reference a specific insight or two. Include a (genuine) compliment if appropriate.

5) Further the Conversation

Keep the conversation alive by providing a relevant piece of content, suggesting a social media group, or introducing the person to someone who shares their interests. Make your offer super-relevant to what you talked about -- your company's "About Us" page won't cut it. By adding value in a material way from your very first post-event interaction, you set a positive tone for the rest of your relationship. This person now knows you won't waste their time.

6) Ask a Question

To earn a response, you'll need to ask a question the person feels compelled to answer. Don't make your ask too big at this early stage of your relationship (read: a meeting/call request) unless you truly think the person would both benefit from it and be amenable to it. Merely keeping the lines of communication open sets the stage for a potential sales conversation down the road.

7) Offer Your Help

Prospects want to engage with salespeople who are willing to help them -- not just sell them. Make it clear that you'd like to act as a resource for the person in whatever capacity they need.

8) Give Contact Information

Everyone favors a different form of communication -- while some prospects like to call, others like to email or message. Include your email address and phone number so the person can easily get in touch with you using the method they'd prefer.

Original Post

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