Networking Etiquette 2
Many times I hear from people who have responded to a request for information from someone in their network never acknowledged the info or did not follow up with the information once it was provided.
If you are not receiving the results/responses you had hoped for through your networking efforts, there may be a good reason for it. Here are some simple reminders regarding “networking courtesy” when provided with a lead or when someone shares information with you. (This goes for candidates seeking job leads and employers seeking candidates!)
Copy the referring party. Remember to copy the person that directed you to the lead on your correspondence with the new contact. It is courteous to include them to show that you followed up, but may also help prod the referral into action when they recognize the referring party’s name.
Use background information when crafting your response. Make sure you have considered the resource carefully and prepared your questions well. If the original contact has provided you with inside information, take the time to note it and reference it. Using this information shows the new contact you have paid attention and are interested in them, and is also a sign of respect.
Ask questions that can be easily understood. Use open-ended sentences, i.e: “Please describe”, “please tell me about”, “how would you….” and be specific in what you are asking. “Please tell me about your industry” is too vague. “Please tell me what you like most about your industry” is more specific.
A thank you go a long way. Thank anyone that has taken time to help you by providing information of any kind. A personal note on a thank you card is appropriate when someone actually meets with you in person.
Stay in touch with your new contacts and let them know you are thinking of them. Send an article of interest, or even simply update them on your progress.
If you are serious about developing relationships, you will incorporate these actions with your networking. Otherwise, you may run the risk of presenting yourself as a self-absorbed opportunist that is only out for what you need at the time.
How have you shown sincerity and appreciation to a new networking contact?