Relationship PR : 21 emails to get to 1 phone call

"If you're not in sales, you should be. Your persistence is impressive."

one of my many messages to someone I met at a networking event. It took a collective 21 emails to schedule a phone conversation.

How easily do you give up on networking follow up?

If you're like me, you send out a "great meeting you" message after you meet someone at a networking event. Rarely do I call, but I should.

At one Internet marketing event, I sat next to a guy who told me my card didn't look like me. It needed to be more lively and expressive. He impressed me as being a bit strange, but likable. A few days after the conference he called to say he was calling everyone he met there to find out what they thought of the meetings and what information they planned to use. He also interviewed me about my Internet marketing experience. And then he asked for feedback on his business. What a friendly way to reach out.

Last month I met at a networking expert at an industry breakfast. I send an email, he sent an email. We exchanged, in all, 21 emails before our first phone call. Each message carried a micro update. It took three weeks to find a time to talk. When we did, I felt like we knew each other and I felt good about being valued as someone to connect with. I asked him about his personal networking style. He told me limits events because he wants to allow time for follow up afterwards. Good advice if you want to get to know the people you met.

Another networking expert I met at a luncheon followed up with two emails to her table mates. Each publicized her business. I'd rather personalize the interaction. Next time I might even add a line about setting up a time to talk.

Two questions kept coming up as I write this post:

Do you know who your contacts are and how they got there?

Where do your connections come from and where do you keep them?

My contacts fall into these areas:

LinkedIn - professional connections

twitter- you follow me, I follow you

CardScan - you give your card, I scan it in

Facebook - we make friends

Networking - we shook hands, talked and probably attended an event together

What do you think?

How do these relationships differ in regards to approach, connection and follow up?

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