So recently I came across the most hilariously horrific post-networking follow-up letter I have ever heard of. It’s probably legendary by now, since as far as I can tell the only things that go viral on the Internet are bad rap parodies and stories of idiots being idiots. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the link (Note: link has been fixed but once you click on this there is some “not safe for work” language). It’s a long one, but totally worth it.
I doubt you’ll ever be better at alienating people than the guy featured in the link above, but I don’t want you to lose heart. You can still strive for silver; you can still stand on the podium. But as every good silver medalist knows, the only way to reach the gold is to learn from the people who have already earned it. The hero this article is based on has done everything I’m about to encourage you to do. He is a true trailblazer, deserving of your respect and emulation. Prepare for greatness!
Send A Generic Follow-Up Letter to Everyone You Met! Personal attention takes so much time! It’s much more efficient to send one email to as many people as possible. Spammers do that constantly, and it obviously works for them. Besides, it’s not like the people you met last night have ever done anything nice for you. Which means they shouldn’t expect you to spend any time and energy on them until they’ve exhausted themselves pleasing you. That’s the philosophy I live by, and it’s why I am not burdened with an excess of friends.
Tell People How Little You Need to Be Networking! I’ve never heard the biggest guy at the gym walk around and tell everyone that he is the biggest guy at the gym. I’ve never seen a beautiful woman start a conversation by saying, “I want you to know that you’re uglier than I am. My name’s Kylie. And you are?” Which is why you should definitely tell people how popular you are, how many connections you’ve already made, and how their addition to your circle of contacts is effectively useless. People like feeling inferior!
Ask People You’ve Never Met to Set You Up On a Date! Let’s face it – some portion of networking is for business reasons, and some portion is also for social reasons. It’s perfectly normal to use networking events as an opportunity to meet a potential partner. But what better way to increase the odds of finding that special someone than by asking complete strangers to set their friends up with you, a complete stranger? This will be triply effective if you’ve first told people how many other and better contacts you have. You’ll sure look like a great catch if your thousands of other friends haven’t been able to hook you up with someone who can tolerate you. Give it a try!
Bottom line – I know you hate networking. I know you secretly loathe the people you’re forced to mingle with. Well now it’s your time to pay them back for all the wasted drinks and false leads they’ve dangled in front of you, all the times someone said “I think there might be something here for both of us” that turned out to be nothing more than three useless emails and a semi-desperate voicemail they weren’t even nice enough to return!
I know your pain. The people you meet at your next networking event deserve the treatment you’re about to give them. Be brave.