Connections are easy to make but take work to cultivate. Whether it’s a conference, luncheon, or random meeting in public, we are given the opportunity to connect with hundreds of new acquaintances a year. The difficult part is determining—on the front end—which acquaintances will develop into meaningful connections.
Therefore, it is important to create a system for following up with new contacts in order to maximize the potential of the relationship. I meet with new people regularly and have learned if you don’t develop a plan to follow up with connections, you won’t.
Here is what I do when I make a connection to ensure I don’t miss any opportunity to stay connected to the people I meet:
- Immediately add them to any social media outlets. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all make it pretty easy to search for people in their networks. Connecting through social media is an easy and acceptable way to take the next step in developing the connection.
- Add them to your contacts. Save whatever contact information you have for them on your phone or computer. This will insure that you don’t forget or mix up their phone number or e-mail address with others in your call log or inbox.
- Send an e-mail reminding them of the meeting. It never hurts to drop them a quick line after meeting. Thanking them for their time and highlighting a takeaway from the meeting is a great way to reconnect online. If the connection has the potential to be really special, a handwritten note could work even better.
- When appropriate, add them to a list of top developing contacts to have a more detailed work plan. If you don’t have a list like this, I highly suggest creating one. I always like to have a few people I’m connected with that have the potential of partnering in a ministry opportunity.
Remember, you never know when a single acquaintance could turn into a life-changing relationship. Try to make the most of every connection. Don’t miss God-given opportunities because you failed to follow up.
What are some other ways to follow up with the people you meet?