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Insights: How to Develop a Networking Connection

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Ask the Expert! Through WISE Insights,Connect with knowledgeable experts to receive honest and thoughtful answers to your career-related questions, or read about challenges your peers are facing.

Question

Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | 15+ years professional experience

After a networking event, how do you turn follow-up into actions that benefit you? For example, after meeting someone at an event that seems very exciting about helping you, you follow up with them, but there is no real action. How do you continue to develop the relationship?

Answer

Assuming you learned something about this person in the course of the initial conversation, you may be able to use that as leverage, so it doesn't seem as if this is "just business." When you follow up, be cordial. For example, "You asked me to follow up and I'm taking the opportunity at this time."

If this isn't successful, I would wait to try again in one business week to ten days. If you have to try again a third time, make it a month after the first encounter. After three times, you need to let it go.

You may also be able to go through a member of the person's support staff or someone that you both have a connection with through LinkedIn.

Bobbie LaPorte

About Bobbie LaPorte

Roberta (Bobbie) LaPorte is founder and principal of RAL & Associates, a consulting firm providing career and leadership development services to technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. Bobbie previously served in GM, COO and CMO roles in several Fortune 50 companies, including IBM and GE. A certified career coach, she has an MBA from Harvard and is a nationally-recognized expert on the powerful relationship between physical fitness and career success, as well as an accomplished triathlete and multi-sport coach.

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