Think about the ART of Networking (or VCP for Certified Networker grads) and remember back to class when we talked about paying attention to those most developed relationships in your network. It would be those in the high C or R for many of you. Review those people in your network and determine if you need to connect with them. Has it been awhile since you strategized with them? Can you think of ways to help them? Or has it been so long since you talked that you just have to work on re-building the relationship again? And by the way, if this is someone you should be meeting regularly, just schedule the 2nd meeting with them when you are reaching out for the first!
While paying attention first to strong relationships makes sense, it also is wise to add some new contacts on a regular basis. You just never know what a new face will bring to the table and additionally they might be exactly the one that your current contacts need to meet! You probably have a hand full of business cards from people you have met in the last couple weeks. Give them a call or shoot them an email letting them know that you would like to get to know them. You could even make a goal to set aside some time every Friday to initiate these calls so you have an ongoing funnel of new contacts.
Recently, I was meeting with a networking contact, Lisa, and she was meeting with someone right before; someone I didn’t know. Quickly, Lisa introduced me to Susie. After Susie moved on and Lisa told me about her, I realized that Susie would be a perfect person to come to our Mini class. My relationship with Lisa was strong enough to allow me to ask her to make a personal intro. And of course during the meeting, we discovered several people that I need to introduce to Lisa. Lisa is a good friend, but I can tell you that if we hadn’t met in person, neither of us would have realized the opportunities that we have for each other. It’s not that we don’t want to help, it’s just the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.” With these two challenges, you can become a better resource to your current contacts and you might also find future customers for yourself!