What to do after you exchange cards?

card_exchangeFirst step should be to record the information into a system that you trust and are comfortable using. It should be easy to access, review and update information.

Record email, phone, website/blog (if there is one), a small note on how, when, where, via whom you met.

What next?

Make a note of social profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and connect based on your connection goals (personal or professional; Facebook is more personal, LinkedIn is for professional connections, twitter is used for both).

Enhance engagement by using a communication funnel. In current times, a typical communication funnel will be: social web connections > email > phone/Skype/chat > meet in person (whenever the opportunity arises).

To make a start – say hello, share your interest and expertise — in 1 or 2 lines; and also explore the interest and expertise of other person. The idea is to get to know each other for mutual benefit. Such mutual connections help in mutual growth and tend to last long. At an appropriate time when sufficient trust and interest is generated, offer to help or work together (if that is your goal).

More benefits

  • Once you record the info you brain no longer need to remember it.
  • When you just connect after meeting, recall and engagement is better.
  • Your message reaches out to more and more people as time passes.
  • Your personal brand grows if you remain consistent in communication.
  • Obvious benefit – your network grows.
  • The growth is not hollow — it is solid — means in your network you will have people who know what you stand for and vice-versa.

Important. It is better to create an engaged network much better than just counting numbers.

What more?

  • Starting a newsletter or mailing list can also help if you have something to say. You email signature can include a link to sign up to your mailing list.
  • It is OK. For emotional or practical reasons if you chose to not keep in touch with somebody.
  • When you communicate — think about giving first – this will open more doors for you and when you ask for something help may be more readily available.
  • You do not always have to say something profound. A small “hey, how you doing?” is perfectly fine after you have made the initial connect.

This one at a time — approach may take more time but will create bonds with human touch. Double benefit is that you stand apart from mindless networkers. Even when you connect on a network like LinkedIn, use personal approach.

Anything else you want to add?

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  1. Ranjani Jha

    Dear Mohit,

    Hope things are going nicely. This article has very important message to implement. I do have a question. As I had signed in at LinkedIn, what should be approach to connect with people and establish a relationship with them and also about group discussion.

  2. Mohit Pawar

    Hi Ranjani, things are going great. Your 1st step on LinkedIn will be to complete your profile 100%, it will give people a chance to explore your background and be interested in connecting with you. After completing your profile, you may also invite people you know to join your network. In groups, spend time asking and answering questions.. all the best!

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