Build Your Momentum and Credibility With a Follow-up
Staying on your new acquaintance’s radar is the priority after a first encounter, because time is never on your side. If there is something you want the other party to do—give you the name of someone influential, send you a key piece of information that you referenced during your initial encounter, or, most significantly, meet or talk with you again—you must remain fresh on that person’s mind. Even in the best of random encounters—those that involve a fun, exciting, interesting exchange that’s full of promise and potential—the impact will fade over time if you do not keep it alive. In addition, the anonymity that’s inherent in random interactions creates enthusiasm that is situational—and that can therefore dissipate rapidly if you don’t act right away. And the importance of following up quickly connects directly to the degree of prominence and influence the other person has. Senior executives have short access windows. As you go down the food chain or toward less influential people or lower yield opportunities, following up is still necessary but relatively less time critical.
Successful random connectors move rapidly to get back in touch with the new acquaintance; they’re aware that to wait is to allow them to either forget the encounter or to dismiss the interaction as fleeting and inconsequential. There’s also the question of credibility issue at play, as the other party may frequently wonder: Is this person legitimate ...