Follow Up Like a Boss

Last month, I attended a delightful dinner party hosted by a member of an organization we both belong to. Despite being strangers, the guests and hostess created an evening brimming with scrumptious food, flowing drinks, and engaging conversation – an experience I won’t soon forget.

As someone who prides herself on building meaningful relationships through networking, I came prepared. I researched the guests, sent a note to the hostess confirming my attendance and thanking her for her hospitality, and selected a hostess gift to express my appreciation. These were merely the basics – table stakes for proper etiquette.

However, the true master networker that night was my new friend, Jessica Donan, the Greenville Office Managing Partner with EY in South Carolina. Within a week, Jessica sent us all an email with the group photo taken that night and a note thanking our gracious hostess. Then, she demonstrated how to follow up like a boss:

Ladies –

Breaking bread with each of you was so special!

  • Sabrina, I look forward to continuing to connect especially as we watch our children head off to college.
  • Sue, it was such a treat to hear about the work you do at the community center and your journey related to the capital campaign. Yeoman’s work for sure.
  • Beverly, you have such a passion for human rights and are so knowledgeable in that space it was nice to get the chance to learn a few new facts from you.
  • Alana, I will certainly be reaching out to connect you with my dear friend who lives in your town.
  • Ines, you must follow up with us to let us know how high you ranked on your daughter’s “cool meter” by visiting the museum.
  • Catherine, I can’t wait to see the playbook on how you all were able to secure recognition for the remarkable women in your community.
  • Cindi, what a remarkable story you shared on your journey to founding your company.
  • Valerie, it was a thrill to hear that you have had such positive interactions with your consultants.
  • Carol, I can’t wait for us to get together next time I am in town!

Jessica took the time to give a personalized, customized shout-out to each attendee, making us all feel important, seen, and heard. Impressive, right?

The lesson? After a social gathering:

  1. Take notes.  Be sure to capture at least one point of information from each person you interact with.
  2. Follow up.  Send a handwritten or email message reminding them of what you discussed, what resonated with you, and what inspired you about their story.
  3. Keep in touch.  Don’t wait for them to reach out. Find ways to support their work and collaborate.

By following Jessica’s lead and making genuine efforts to connect, you’ll cultivate relationships that truly count.

Happy Networking!

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