When I’m coaching about good networking practice, I quite often hear the lament “But what will I say??” when I recommend making calls or sending emails to people. Really, there’s nothing to this. Any excuse will do. I’ve already told you about one or two of them. Another one just occurred to me today.

Imagine you are at a networking event. One you’ve attended enough to know the other regulars. You realize that one of them, a real pillar of the community, isn’t sitting in his usual place at lunch. As soon as you return to the office, drop him a quick line (either by email or by phone) mentioning that you noticed he wasn’t there and you are hoping things are OK.

Upsides: A connected member of the community knows you are thinking about him.  Perhaps you get to find out about some challenges with his business with which you can help. Maybe he’s out traveling or pursuing one of his hobbies.  He could even be making the sale of a lifetime.  In any case you can celebrate or commiserate with him (and maybe even follow-up with an appropriate, hand-written note).

Downsides: None that I can think of.

It’s time to make those existing relationships count.  Stop coming up with excuses not to call and start coming up with ones that will motivate you to strengthen the contact instead.