Thursday, December 4, 2008

Networking: Reconnecting with contacts in your network!

In an article, I wrote previously this year “Make a True Connection: Networking for Personal and Professional Success!” the message focused on networking with an emphasis on making a connection with a person and taking it beyond the business card.

This month, the focus is on “reconnecting with contacts in your network.” Reconnecting with contacts is like taking your car in for routine maintenance. It’s good to make it a part of your routine plan whether it’s monthly, quarterly or yearly, but it’s something you need to do. With the current conditions of the economy, some individuals have relied heavily on their existing network and others had to start from scratch.

Reconnecting with your network can bring many benefits to your professional relationship. Let’s focus on the Why, How and When:

Why reconnect with your professional contacts?

1. Get a status. See what has changed (i.e. revenues, business expansion, etc.)
2. Share industry news and updates.
3. Grow your business.
4. Build a lasting relationship.

How to reconnect with your professional contacts?

There are many ways that you can reconnect with your contacts. Only you would know the best methods based on prior conversations. Don’t limit yourself on the ways you network and reconnect with your contacts. Here are some ways for you to be strategic and recharge that connection:

- Social Networks – Send a message through LinkedIn, Facebook or any other social network. Social networks also allow you to give an update of things you are working on and literature you may be reading.

- Email – Send an email with those contacts you communicate with via email. Send a quick email to see how things are going with them especially with the current economic conditions. Who knows, they may require your help or the help of someone within your network.

- Phone call – Another method that is rarely used. It is always nice to talk and hear a voice on the other end of the phone.

- Lunch/ Face to face meeting – A cup of coffee or a bite to eat, a nice informal way to reconnect and share news with your contacts.

- Personal letter/ note card – This method is seldom used. Even though electronic communications reach our audience much faster, a handwritten message displays that there was some thought put behind the message.

- Holiday parties – What better way to reconnect with your contacts. If you are hesitant on going to several holiday parties, why not be the host of your own Holiday “Reconnecting Network” Party.

- Holiday cards – “Tis the season”. Share a card of warm wishes during the holidays and include a personal message.

When to reconnect with your professional contacts?

When you’re building your network, being patient and preparing for the next time is significant. It’s never too early or too late to build a healthy network. Don’t wait until you need something from your network. “Be proactive, not reactive when networking!”

As you see, reconnecting with your professional contacts can happen for any reason, any time and any place. Don’t let too much time go by or key factors take place before your reconnect. Remember, just as you take your car in for routine maintenance; make sure you set a goal of staying connected with your professional contacts.

Reggie Waller is the president of RWJ Consulting Group a provider of business and personal coaching, consulting and training services to individuals and businesses. For additional information call 267-254-6800 or visit RWJ Consulting Group

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