You may meet some new people at an event, exchange cards, promise to get in touch soon, and then forget. Or at least they forget you by the time you engage with them again. This is very common for those who are in public life and happen to attend multiple events, meetings or parties. How to make the first meeting convert into a professional or personal contact is a skill that not many people could master.

Therefore, in marketing and sales, only those who succeed know how to cultivate, maintain and strengthen their contacts. Everyone, at the senior level in an organisation, needs to develop this expertise for professional success. The best way to make connections is by following up. Yes, it means consistency, perseverance and all those words that we have been reading in motivational books. Although here we are talking of professional success, making new associations and keeping them strong.

It can be done through a follow-up email or message. There are some smart people who promptly send an introductory email the very next day after their first acquaintance has been established. Some of them also offer to meet for a coffee or lunch or request a formal meeting. It is a very effective way to pursue, we would agree. However, we also come across people who are so cheesy. They overdo it by making unscheduled calls, and taking a long time in chit-chatting without asking the other person’s convenience or willingness. This is a sure way to burn that contact. Enthusiasts who do not want to leave any stone unturned in making their way up, often make this mistake of exaggeration. Understanding that no one would like to get close to you immediately after the first meeting is also important. So that your efforts are reasonable and moderate.

In professional relations, it is a mutual benefit that matters most, not only one party’s willingness to remain in touch. Yet, even the highest-ranking executives tend to like a person who persists in appointments and shows diligence. More often than not, it is probable that the other person does not have time to initiate such an email or message. It becomes the duty of the new contact, especially the junior ones, to initiate and proceed with that relationship. Of course, you don’t want to, because of the limitation of time and resources, follow up on every individual you meet, but wherever you would like to – don’t forget to send an email the very next working day.

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