Network Maintenance

Maintaining your network is as important as building it. Gathering new contacts can be beneficial, but only if you can nurture the relationships.

Avoid the irrational impulse to meet as many new people as possible. The key is quality over quantity.

Cultivate and maintain your existing network to discover a valuable array of information, knowledge, expertise, and opportunities. 

networking

Key Contacts: List the people that are critical to your network without regard to your current relationship with them.  These should be people you know who can and have been very important to you. it is likely there will be some you have lost touch with. Reconnect and then schedule a regular meeting or phone call. You don't need a reason to get in touch, because you connect because you need to and want to. It should make you feel good and provide you with an insight or two.

Prioritize Contacts: Keep a running list of people you need to reconnect with both old and new. Focus on people whose view of the world you value; you’d like to get to know better; or whose company you enjoy. Prioritize these contacts and then schedule time into your regular routine so you can make your way through the list. 

Notes on Network: Collecting cards and filing them is a start. It requires updates to maintain your contacts, new and old. Add notes about their families, their jobs, their interests, and their needs. Do you have a photographic memory?  You won’t remember all of this information unless you write it down. Put these updates and notes on the back of their business cards or input them into your contact database.

Reciprocate: Successful networking is a two way street. Your ultimate goal is to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships. That entails giving as well as receiving. Send thank you notes; ask about their families; email articles you think they might be interested in; and check in periodically to see how they’re doing. Nurture the relationship to establish a strong network of people you can count on for ideas, advice, feedback, and support.