After you meet someone for professional networking, and it was you who requested the meeting…it’s your job to send a follow-up email, whether or not there’s anything tangible to follow-up on. It’s just common courtesy to quickly touch base after the meeting with an email. The other person took time out of their busy schedule to meet with you, whether by phone, video, or in-person…so the least you can do is send them a quick note as a follow-up.
Before we start, I just want to clarify that these are follow-up emails to professional networking meetings outside of work. For company meetings or employee meetings, that’s an entirely different topic, where there’s a more detailed summary of the meeting bullets, relevant next steps, and who’s responsible for what. This article, however, pertains to networking meetings. We’ll dive into some practical tips for what to include in your meeting follow-up email and even a sample meeting follow-up email template.
Tip 1 – Follow-Up Quickly
The first thing you’ll want to do is to follow-up quickly, within 1 or 2 days. This is important because your meeting will still be front-of-mind for both of you. If there was any excitement or any ideas exchanged in the meeting, you’ll want to capitalize on the timing by sending out a quick email. One hack I suggest is to just get in the habit of creating a draft email right after your meeting and maybe even bulleting out some thoughts right in the email. Then, when you get back to your office or home, you’ll have that email draft right there to remind you to refine your follow-up email and send it out.
If the follow-up email somehow slipped your mind and it’s been about a week, well better late than never. Just send it out the first chance you get.
Tip 2 – Recap some key learnings you received
When you’re the one who arranged the meeting, try to recount 1 or 2 key learnings you learned from the meeting. This gesture goes a long way. They took time out of their busy lives to meet with you, so always try to appreciate them by showing them you were paying attention and got some tangible value. This doesn’t have to be long-winded…just a sentence or two thanking them for a key takeaway.
Tip 3 – Itemize anything you need from them
Chances are, you originally requested a meeting because of some need you have. Just like in the intro email you used to schedule this meeting, we suggest you be very clear with any of your asks. If you don’t explicitly ask here in the follow-up email, there’s a slim chance that person will remember any next steps from the meeting, nor be motivated to proactively help.
For example, if during the meeting, you requested feedback on an idea you discussed, and maybe talked about an introduction they can make, then itemize both of those things in the email to remind the recipient to remember to do these 2 things.
Tip 4 – Itemize anything you promised them
We always recommend the importance of not just receiving…but to also have a spirit of giving. Hopefully in your meeting, you remembered to sincerely offer to help them in any way. If so, take the opportunity in this follow-up email to remind them that you’re making good on your promise to be helpful with whatever you discussed during your meeting.
For example, maybe you promised to make an intro for them to someone. Here, you’d take the opportunity to remind them that you’re happy to do it, and share with them any next steps.
Sample Meeting Follow-Up Email Template
Applying all 4 tips above, here’s a sample follow-up email template you can use for your own meeting follow-ups:
Great meeting yesterday [name]!
Thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to connect. I really appreciated all your advice about [discussion-topic], and I look forward to trying those things we discussed.
If you can, please take a look at [something] and let me know what you think. Also, you mentioned it’d be useful for me to connect with [someone]. Do you mind making an intro? If you want, I’d be happy to draft an intro email you can use.
And please confirm if you still want an intro to [someone]…I’d be happy to make it.