Perhaps the “Cardinal Rule” of networking is that once you’ve planted the seeds of a new relationship, you must follow up to maintain it. Whether it’s a business referral, job lead, or a professional connection, get in touch – within 24 hours – to say you enjoyed meeting them.
“No one owes you anything, so you need to be as ingratiating as you can,” says Glickman. People who have taken the time to speak with you and provide you with connections or guidance deserve a thank you. “Assume that you can learn from everyone. They might not be the right person, but they might know someone who you might want to be in touch with.”
It’s also critical to reach out to anyone a connection refers you to. “People hate it when they give someone a referral and the person never bothers to follow up on it,” says Misner. If you don’t, it makes two parties look bad, he says – you, since you didn’t follow through on a potential lead, and the person who referred you, since they recommended you as a reliable resource.