Create a structure and a system
So that you can take care of your working relationships optimally, it’s a good idea to keep all your contacts in a central location, for instance in a CRM system. Alternatively, you can of course try to have all your contacts within reach online, as well, in networks like XING or LinkedIn. When you have all your contacts in one location, you maintain a better overview and can also save notes about past conversations.
Plan contact cultivation into your daily schedule
The more your network grows, the more likely you are to lose the overview in everyday life, and some contacts threaten to run cold. That’s why it’s important to set up a regular appointment reminder for important contacts. “Call Mr. Miller” or “Write a private message to Ms. Smith” are things that should constantly remind you of them.
Provide your contacts with the right information
You read an article about a challenge currently affecting contact X? Then forward the article to him and thus show that you’re concerned about him and are interested in him having all the information to move forward. Of course, you can also use such information to spark up further conversations about the topic.
Send a quick hello
There are many occasions when a quick hello is appropriate and appreciated. Classic examples are to send a few lines for holidays like Christmas and Easter. However, there are many more possibilities: • Comment on your contacts’ posts on social networks or click on “like”. • Wish them a happy birthday, congratulate them on the birth of a baby, etc. • Use appointments in another city to ask for an appointment with contacts from the town or region. • Celebrate your contacts’ successes when you find out about them through social networks, the Internet or the newspaper – send them words of recognition.
Network your contacts with each other
When the opportunity arises, introduce your contacts to each other. You’ll be fostering your own relationships while creating added value for the dialogue partners concerned. Your network will be strengthened considerably because the individual contacts are interwoven with one another.
Clean out your contacts
Of course, there will also be contacts who turn out to be less qualified than expected. Do you have any contacts who don’t really move you forward or with whom you have no connections (anymore)? Then deliberately let them die off and instead take care of the other contacts in your network more intensively.
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