YOU'VE GOT IT, NOW KEEP IT!
I use to collect magnets. At first it was when we took a trip I’d picked up a souvenir magnet and put it on our fridge
It didn’t take long before friends and family started to give me magnets from their trips as well (which made me look like one heck of a traveller). At one point we had so many magnets that it was hard to remember the colour of our fridge! The only thing we had to do with the existing magnets was to shove them over to make some room for the new ones.
Most collections are easy to look after. Get the item once and it’s yours for life. When it comes to your network however, nothing could be the further from the truth.
Think of your network as a living entity. It needs to be looked after, nourished and cared for. I have witnessed large business networks crumble where pieces have died off or migrated all due to neglect.
When it comes to your network:
- Stay in touch – between emails, text messages, social media and phone calls there is no excuse for not staying connected.
- Make time for each other – I am a true believe in a quick cup of coffee to re-connect. I find it often doesn’t matter if we meet for 30 minutes or 90 minutes as at the end of the meeting you still feel connected. However, a 30 minutes coffee is a lot easier to fit into the schedule.
- Remember your old network - even when you are adding new people to your business circle. No one likes the feeling of being second fiddle. Ensure you keep your network well balanced.
- Move on - If the networking connection that once was alive no longer exists then it’s okay to move on. At some point a relationship needs to be removed from life support. There really isn’t a need to refer to the accountant you haven’t spoken to for years (not plan on speaking too) when there is a new accountant looking to develop a reciprocal relationship with you.
Take pride in your network and treat it with respect and nourishment. With these simple steps you will be able to enjoy your network for many, many years.