When you connect with someone at a networking event or online, it’s not always clear what to do next. Ask a question to keep the conversation going.
Photo by TSLAC
Over at The Muse, they have suggestions on what you do after you connect with someone on LinkedIn:
Target in on your goal — building a connection, learning about the company this person works for — and come up with a few questions he or she could answer for you. Asking someone, “What’s it like working at [company name]?” or “What advice would you give someone transitioning from the nonprofit to for-profit sector?” will provide more natural fodder for a response than, “Any career advice for me?” (too open-ended) or “Can you introduce me to [a high-powered connection]?” (too large an ask).
Much like in an interview, your questions will allow you to demonstrate both your thoughtfulness and how much homework you did (proving that you aren’t there to waste your new connection’s time).
Although the article refers to LinkedIn, this tip applies to any professional networking opportunity. When you get a business card, think of the question you’d like to ask the other person and write it on the back of the card so you don’t forget. If you’re using a digital contact manager, put it in the notes field. That way, you actually establish a bit of a relationship instead of being just another business card in the box.
Check the link for other ways to keep networking with someone after making a connection.