Once you have someone’s business card in your hands, what's next? You have taken the time to get to know about this person professionally and personally, I hope, and now you have been handed your source of power to contact this individual. Time to FU, as Gelie* would say. FU, or follow-up, is where you formally present yourself and your business. This is generally done via email.
Greet the individual by reminding them where you got their business card, add a little anecdote, regurgitating what you bonded about when you met, and always make sure they are having a good day. Have a formalized blurb prepared with information about what it is your company does and how your company can help the individual and their business; copy & paste it into the email after your greeting. End your email with a heart felt statement about how you hope to hear from them; suggest coffee, a meal, or meeting with them at their office so you can talk shop or just continue to get further acquainted.
Email is also where you want to provide links for your social media. This is a great way for people to keep up with what you and your business are doing, provide great information and communicate with different people in a different way. In your signature include links to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your Blog along with your phone number and website.
Following-up is a very delicate and necessary part of networking; there is a limited amount of time in which you can stay fresh in people’s minds and keep them interested in you. I would suggest not waiting longer than 48 hours for fear of getting the “Who are you again?” response to your email. As tedious as it maybe, always stay fresh in people minds.
* Gelie is the founder and CEO of NetworkingPhoenix.com, an essential website for any individual, small or large business owner. Visit www.NetworkingPhoenix.com for more information.