I don’t know about you but I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate it when people are non responsive. OK, I’ve been doing this networking thing long enough (26 years and counting) and I surely have developed a thick enough skin, but folks, c’mon now, simple courtesy and business etiquette SHOULD prevail.
We are all out there meeting and greeting, going to meetings and events, making new contacts and connections, handing out and gathering cards…and if you are not doing these things, then don’t bother to read on.
But if you are, please indulge me for just a wee bit longer.
Why in heck if you are playing the (networking) game are you not playing it correctly?
Why jump in the pool if you don’t want to swim?
I reach out to folks that I’ve met at events. We exchange cards, engage in a polite conversation and then move on as to be expected at such a gathering. And the next day or within the next week anyway, I follow-up with an email or, in some cases, a phone call. My outreach is brief and professional and I mention that I am interested in learning more about their business in the hopes that we might be able to do some networking. It’s never a hard sell or actually any sort of sell at all. I am sincere in my intentions.
And don’t you know it but there are folks that simply don’t respond at all. I usually try again within a few days and give it another chance, often mixing it up a bit and calling instead of emailing or vice versa. But still nada.
Can I be such a loser that they have simply discounted my existence? If that’s the case then why did they spend so much time engaging with me at the meeting or event (trust me that I don’t make it all that difficult to disengage.)?
Or is it something else? Beats me. Once again, why take the time, energy and money to attend these things if you are not going to do the all important follow-up and follow-through?