Consistency is critical to nurturing and building relationships. Without a focused approach, you will not be able to maintain quality, long-term relationships. The tips below can help you become an effective networker.
- Follow-up. After each first and subsequent encounter with someone, be sure to reconnect. This can be done via phone or email. Regardless of the method, follow up and follow through on any agreed-upon actions in a timely, appropriate manner. It is important to remain proactive and consistent with those people you want to include in your network.
- Schedule meetings. A critical component of building relationships is getting to know people. Make it a habit to invite people for coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks. Putting in face time with new people is an important aspect of relationship building.
- Communicate creatively. As your network continues to grow, it will become even more challenging to reach out to everyone consistently and individually. With that said, consider setting up an email group or newsletter. This will allow you to send valuable information to your network quickly and easily. However, don’t forget the importance of personal contact when appropriate.
- Connect others. Another way to connect is to introduce people. When you meet someone for the first time, a great way to show you care is by offering to connect this person to another individual within your network. By making an introduction, you can show that you were thinking of this person, which will be appreciated.
- Give to get. As your network continues to grow, people will come to you with requests, work specific questions, or to make introductions. Respond to these requests either yourself or make a referral to someone who can. You want people to view you as someone who is resourceful and a go-to person for information or assistance. Once this happens, you will become very valuable in other people’s networks.
Successful networking is simple relationship building, yes, but there’s some strategy involved. Remember: Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!