You probably very often hear that something should be followed up and your impression can be because the issue is important so we need to follow up. That is exactly also right about networking for your career success. The following up in career networking means several things. First, you show that you are very interested in developing a mutual beneficial relationship. It also means that you are working on building this relationship from your side, indicating you are a considerate professional. Secondly, you try to convey a message to your contact that you have some information you want to share.
There are many ways you can apply when you want to follow up. For example, using email is very convenient when the information is needed immediately. If you feel your tone and energy is very high and beneficial in this following up, then use voice mail. Sometime a handwritten thank-you note is very welcome.
The good attitude for proper networking is like this – make it easy for him or her to decline comfortably. Still express your gratitude and move on without any regret. When people can feel free to say no, they will think highly about you and most likely to help you in the future within their capacity.
What if the person whom you are introduced is not returning your call? Call the person who made the introduction. Ask him or her for advice. It shows that you appreciate the help and it gives you a valid reason to keep in touch.
How many times should you expect to follow up? Three times are very normal. You can start with an email and then a phone call. After all if there is still no response, you can contact the person who introduced you for any further suggestion.
Here are three suggestions for following up:
Ask about preference to follow-up: Find out what is the best way to contact the person and then use that method.
Explain when you invite: Be clear of what you want and let them know beforehand. If the meeting is linked to a lunch, then you are buying an hour or more for consulting time, depending on where you go for meal.
Make it quick and offer alternatives: You can suggest a short 15-minute meeting in the person’s office. It should be more convenient for your contact. Also because his or her assistant and resources are at hand, it can be very handy to provide any help immediately.