careersolvers

Monday, March 20, 2006

Following up on networking leads
Clients often struggle with the notion of following up with networking contacts. Many are concerned that they will be perceived as a nuisance if they follow up with a contact too aggressively. The key to a successful follow up campaign is to be persistent without the other party knowing it. If you call a networking contact and leave a message, your follow up strategy should be to call every day at different times without leaving additional messages. You might call and leave a message on Monday, then follow up at 10am on Tuesday morning, noon on Wednesday, 3pm on Thursday, and 4:30 on Friday. If you get the contact's voicemail, don't leave additional messages. If you vary the timing of the calls you increase the liklihood of getting the contact in person. If you get a secretary or other type of gatekeeper, be polite and try to develop a rapport with that person. If they ask if you would like to leave a message a good response is "No, that's alright...when would be the best time to reach this person? This strategy allows you to maintain control over the interaction. If after several attempts you are still unable to connect with your networking contact, consider discussing the situation with the original person who gave you the contact. Perhaps the contact is swamped with a time-sensitive project or out of town on vacation and you need to delay your follow up strategy until they return. While you won't be able to build a relationship with every potential contact, you can improve your chances of connecting with people in a timely fashion by following these suggestions.

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