Harvey Mckay wrote the definitive guide on networking, “Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty,” the only networking book you’ll ever need. He describes the science, value and methods of networking. My favorite chapter highlighted the top ten ways to stay in touch with your network:
1. Use the calendar creatively: Be creative and remember birthdays, holidays, and never underestimate the power of a thank-you note or remember a special date or place that’s important to someone in your network. The little things mean everything.
2. Watch for important community events: Here’s a place to connect with groups that you may want to increase your affiliation. Volunteer in group activities, like Earth Day coming up on April 22.
3. Observe organization and company changes: When someone in your network, or someone you want to be in your network, gets a promotion or impacted by an organization change, reach out, write a note, or send an office plaque with the person’s name on it.
4. Get wired. When a network member creates a new email address, send a note to establish that you are part of each other’s electronic network.
5. Clip and ship. Read the paper or magazine, clip and send articles to people in your network.
6. Use your pit stops constructively. Never neglect your network when you are traveling through their area; even a layover at the airport. Call and ask, “what’s a good place to eat?” Great way to stay connected to your network.
7. When your network iss filled with static, you can help to clear the air. Is one member of your network at odds with another? You can be an honest broker and help them resolve their dispute.
8. Anyone can call tem when they’re up. Remember to call them when they’re down. People will remember those who stand by them when times are tough. If someone in your network is suffering a loss, reach out with a note, flowers or help them make a new connection.
9. Report any major changes in your situation. Tell your network about your new network. It gives you an opportunity to stay in touch and gives them an opportunity to expand their network.
10. Be there. Be present in other people’s lives. People always remember who was there and who wasn’t.
Check out these and other networking strategies in Harvey’s book. Your network will enrich your life and open doors to new opportunities to learn, grow and connect.