A Powerful ‘Forget Me Not’ Network
What would happen if you needed some serious support in your business immediately? Are the relationships you’ve nurtured in your business network able to help and more importantly, would they want to? Would they take your call and put themselves out to give you advice and guidance when you need it? Do they drop other things to listen and take action that will make an actual difference to you?
It would be wonderful to think our phones are full of contacts who’d do all of the above when you genuinely need them – but the reality is they’re not. It’s highly unlikely that if you haven’t spoken to contacts in months or sometimes even years that they’ll want to.
Networking is not about handing out and collecting business cards. It's about developing relationships. Once you’ve met a new connection make contact quickly and arrange to meet them - then stay in touch. Do something of value for them as soon as possible. In the early days that may be introducing them to a business opportunity but you could offer some advice, share an article that might interest them or support them in another way. Nothing helps put strong relationship foundations in place like going out of your way to help – they will remember you for it!
And if someone does something for you or gives you an opportunity, follow up immediately and don’t forget to thank them – a hand written note is such a lovely thing to receive.
Take time to continually keep your connections up to date and decide the appropriate frequency of staying in touch. Ideally you should make contact with your very best connections weekly. However, be discerning about how many connections you deem as ’ VIP’ - you only have so much time to stay in touch.
You’ll build a strong professional network around you of people always willing to support you, offer advice and share experiences. You’ll probably end up down the pub together too!