I can recall when I was on my honeymoon and happily changed my Facebook relationship status from “Engaged” to “Married.”
After doing this my mind started to wander on the “status” of my professional relationships. As a business professional, I interact with a lot of people every day, but I’m ashamed to say that I don’t know everyone as well as I should. I’m not saying that I need to know their life story, but I want to know more than just their name and the company that they work for.
Having a connection is more than just adding someone to LinkedIn or calling them when you need a favor.
The following steps will keep you in touch with EVERYONE in your network on a consistent basis and grow your rapport with all of your professional contacts.
Reach out to your contacts every quarter
Touching base with contacts at least four times per year is more than enough. I had the misconception that you have to reach out to everyone in your network every month—an administrative nightmare.
Furthermore, when you reach out you, it can be a simple hello. It is not necessary to send a groundbreaking article or inquire about a job opening. Asking how they are doing and seeing what’s new is more than enough.
Communicate in the form they are most comfortable with
I had to learn that communication is all about the other person and being effective. In this day and age we have (but are not limited to) face-to- face, telephone, e-mail, text message, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as methods of communication. Find the one that is best for that contact.
You will be surprised the increase in responses you receive when using an effective means of communication.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back from them
Of course when you reach out to someone you expect to hear something back, but this isn’t always the case. I used to get extremely frustrated when I would spend time reaching out to people and didn’t hear back. But GOD always has a way of putting me back in contact with people that I haven’t heard from in a long time.