6 Ways to Make a New Business Connection Last

06/09/2016 02:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It always starts off well: You and a new contact have a great conversation, exchange business cards, say goodbye, and then...radio silence. You both are having dozens of conversations on a regular basis, so here's how to turn the initial contact into something meaningful and long-lasting.

A. Be Fast and Focused

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Follow up as soon as you can so the information you just learned is top of mind. Send a brief email saying you enjoyed meeting them and be sure to reference a talking point you had to show that you were focused and attentive on what they had to share. - Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs

A. Provide Value First

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The best way to follow up with any business connection is to provide value to them in any way you can -- whether you'd like to have an in-person conversation or send them an event or resource of their interest. It shows that you listened in your first interaction, and it's a great way to stand out. -Antonio Gandara-Martinez, BounceChat

A. Send a Handwritten Note

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Sending an email the day after making a business connection is great, but sending a handwritten note can be even more powerful and memorable. If you want to go even further, include a gift card to Starbucks and say you're looking forward to setting up a coffee date. - Stephanie Cartin, Socialfly

A. Continue the Conversation

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Anyone can send a "great meeting you" email. Instead, draw from your discussion. For example, ask a question related to what you talked about, or seek insight on a specific topic that came up in your conversation. Structure your follow-up in order to get a reply and continue building a relationship with that connection. - Maria Burns Ortiz, 7 Generation Games

A. Find Similarities

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The best way to follow up with a new connection is to find something in common and maintain that connection. I usually ask my connection what types of goals he/she has. We all aim to improve and get better, and what better way to do this than talk with like-minded people? - Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning LLC

A. Be Genuinely Nice

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Fortunately, there are an infinite number of ways to be nice. You could give them your thanks, pay them a compliment, or offer to help them in some meaningful way. When you are nice or caring, it deepens your connection with them, making your relationship more likely to flourish. - Max Coursey, Tiger Prop

These answers are provided by members of FounderSociety, an invitation-only organization comprised of ambitious startup founders and business owners.