We’ve all been there. You attend a networking event, have a great conversation, email the article link or send the LinkedIn invitation you promised you would and then… nothing. You never hear from the person again.
Why leave it at that?
Something most folks learn in sales training is that YOU have to be the person that people hear from if you want results. It’s really that simple; accept the responsibility and make an effort to stay in contact with folks you meet with whom you want to stay connected.
Avoid being a hit and run
Pay attention to things that matter to the people in your network. For example, after you have followed up with someone new, and are now perhaps connected on LinkedIn (see my prior post about follow-up) when you notice updates or changes in their status, go ahead and send a LinkedIn message or email them directly to comment or ask about their change. It might be congratulations if you notice a new job, name change (perhaps they got married) or maybe a promotion.
Also, and most importantly, try to reach out to people when you don’t need anything. Networking is about creating, nurturing and building relationships and they need care and feeding. The whole idea is to not wait until you need something to hit up your connections; it’s about continually cultivating and engaging your valuable network.
Notice or learn something new about 3 of your current contacts this week. Look at their personal or company website or their online activities via LinkedIn, Medium or other social media to see what they’re up to and if you can offer encouragement or support or an opinion, do so. Better yet, try asking them a relevant (not cheesy) question. Be sincere though; don’t just go through the motions.