10 Networking Tips for People Who Hate Networking

Follow Up
You should follow up within 48 hours of meeting a contact you wish to keep in touch with, either by phone, e-mail or text. iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Networking experts are insistent about this one; if you don't follow up, you fail. Most networking gurus say that you should make contact — e-mail, text, phone call — within 48 hours of an initial meeting [source: Clark]. But what does this mean for those of us who are physically repulsed by the networking game? How do we get over our distaste of self-promotion disguised as a thank-you note?

The best way to get over the awkwardness of the follow-up contact is to make it as organic as possible. If you are a good listener, then you will have no problem remembering that Bill is really interested in self-driving cars, Sarah collects vintage Hollywood movie posters, and Hyun is looking for a catchy name for the new iPhone app he's developing. (You can make crib notes on their business cards to jog your memory.)

If you really want to build a networking relationship, don't send a generic "nice to meet you" e-mail. Dig up something that's useful to them, maybe a link to an article about Google's autonomous cars, a rare poster for sale on eBay or a list of 20 app names you thought of on the car ride home. You'll feel like less of a self-promoter and make a lasting impression in the process. And if you get a response, offer to meet them up for coffee.