Referral Etiquette: How to Follow Up Without Being Pushy

Networking can be a great way to expand your professional connections and gain new opportunities. However, it's important to have proper referral etiquette when following up with potential contacts. It can be tempting to come off as pushy or aggressive, but by following a few simple guidelines, you can establish relationships that benefit both parties.

First and foremost, be sure to thank your referral source for the introduction. Whether it's through email or in person, a simple message of gratitude can go a long way. This not only shows your appreciation for their help, but also maintains a positive relationship with them.

When reaching out to the new contact, be clear about your intentions and why you're interested in connecting with them. Avoid using generic messages that may seem insincere or disingenuous. Instead, tailor your message to the individual and their specific strengths or skills that caught your attention.

Another important aspect of referral etiquette is to be patient. Don't expect an immediate response or action from the new contact, as they may have other priorities or commitments. Allow them some time to respond before following up, and be respectful of their schedule and availability.

If you do need to follow up, be considerate and polite in your approach. Avoid coming across as aggressive or demanding and instead frame your message in a positive and helpful way. This may involve offering assistance or resources that could be of value to the contact, or simply expressing your continued interest in connecting with them.

It's also important to respect any boundaries or limitations that the new contact may have. They may not be able to provide you with the support or information you're seeking, and it's important to accept this and move on graciously. Don't pressure them or guilt them into doing something that may not be in their best interest.

Ultimately, referral etiquette is about building and maintaining positive relationships that benefit both parties. By being considerate, patient, and respectful in your approach, you can establish a strong network of connections that can help you achieve your goals and progress in your career.