by James Himm Mitchell, M. A.,
LifePlan Coaching & Consulting
In last month’s article, I presented the first five tips for building strong business network relationships. This month, I present five more…
1. Stay in Touch
A very important part of cultivating network relationships is staying in touch with those you meet. Whether you interact casually on social media or actually write formal follow-up letters, it's important to stay on the radar of the people you meet.
2. Follow Up with an Offer
For your first follow-up with new contacts, be proactive and offer to do something for them. Offer some kind of help they need that you can provide in just a few minutes. This is a great reason to follow up and keep in touch, and also boosts your relationship with goodwill. Your new contact will immediately see the value you have to offer.
3. Keep Records
Keep a file on each of your contacts and try to record as much as you can about them. Record personal information for your contacts such as their likes and dislikes, as well as pertinent business information. This data can clue you in to their needs and ways you can make connections with them.
4. Maintain Professionalism
Your contacts aren't your friends. For some with whom you have a more distant relationship, keep the appropriate level of professionalism. Always correspond with them politely and don't forget the say "please" and "thank you."
5. Pay Attention
Through each contact with your network, pay attention and listen closely. You need to recognize if your contact with the person is intrusive and whether or not it's valuable to them. This is how you build a strong long-term relationship.
As much as possible, make your networking relationships valuable to the other person. Don't make it all about what you need from them. If your contacts get great things by knowing you, they'll be on the lookout for ways they can reciprocate and help you too.