You will be given new leads right and left as you make an impression during your informal meetings. Every staffer has at least two strong leads for talented prospects on the Hill. Thus, if you receive a few names, be sure to send out an email on these hot leads immediately.
Let the new lead know that you just met/had coffee with ______________ (insert the name of the recent networking referral) and mention up-front that he/she suggested your new email recipient by name as an excellent person to talk to.
Make this connection very early while the memory of the meeting and the discussion is still fresh. That way, if the person with whom you are trying to meet is curious, he/she can reach out to the referral. It’s very likely that the referral will respond kindly because you just met within the last 24 hours. If you try this after being lazy for 30 days, don’t expect to achieve strong results. It’s important to work hard when you have the tools and hot leads at your disposal.
You are to write and hand-deliver a handwritten thank-you note on the day of your meeting. A week delay (or more) is absolutely no good.
There are impressive cards and thank-you notes in every card shop including the gift shops in the House (Longworth) and the Senate (basement corridor connecting Dirksen and Russell).
Walk to the office where your new contact works. Hand your note to the staff assistant and walk out. You have already had your meeting. You are simply there to drop off your note and leave. Don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. Be polite. Say thank you to the person at the front desk. Drop off your card and quickly make your exit. This is not a second meeting.