Making Contacts, and Keeping Them
I’m not new to the business game. Some might even say that I’ve, “been around the block.” I’ve worked with startups, major corporations, for myself and with friends. But throughout it all only one thing has stayed the same. The people in my contact book. I’m young enough to have missed the ‘rolodex’ days but old enough to have, at one point, owned a device specifically for keeping my contacts. Today it’s easy. Everything lives in the cloud and people rarely lose their contacts. But take a quick swipe through almost any contact list and ask, “How many of these people do I actually talk to?”
What’s the point of having a contact if you aren’t going to… contact them? Keeping contacts is an even more important step in the business process than obtaining them. I’ve met countless people at parties, weddings, bars and even coffee shops. Many of them gave me their business card and I promptly put it in my wallet, fully intending to call or email. But far too often, life gets in the way. And this isn’t always a bad thing. You need to live. What’s the point of business if you don’t enjoy life? But it’s a fine line, and it’s slippery. Don’t slip onto the wrong side.
I’m not going to lecture you on how to make contacts. Enough people have done that before me, and those people gave you solid advice. Network, get out there and make your name known. I’m here to talk about keeping those contacts.
First things first. Contact them. Don’t annoy a new contact with email after email and Facebook pokes, but send them a quick note saying that it was nice to meet them and you hope to be able to work together in the future. Make a note of this conversation. That’s the critical part. Remembering who you’ve talked to and what you said. It’s important because six months down the line you should be sending them another note. This one just serves to remind them that you’re still around, still in business and it jogs their memory. Chances are they’ve met a hundred more people since you last spoke. But you’ve got a secret weapon, this article.
Utilize social media. You should absolutely find your new contact on LinkedIn. No matter what. Depending on the capacity in which you met him/her and the relationship you built you may want to friend them on Facebook. Twitter can also be a valuable resource for maintaining contacts. Occasionally retweet them to keep your name in their head.
Your contacts are what is going to make or break your business and you need to keep them around. Just remember to keep them in your head, remember conversations and utilize the tools of social media.
After several years of experience in business and marketing, Drew decided to pursue his true passion, writing. Drew picked up the habit of writing letters to family and friends while working abroad for over 3 years. He currently writes for the personalized pen supplier, Pensxpress.com