When was the last time you updated your network? If your list of business contacts is still spinning around on a rolodex, it’s time to get moving. Networks are living and thriving organisms, and no two are exactly alike or composed of the same materials. No matter how long you have been in the online business game, failing to feed and care for your network can result in a withered and dried up series of business connections.
Are you still looking at the rolodex or a planner filled with emails that might not even be active anymore? Let’s get started…
Throw out old info. Go ahead, erase it, delete it and toss it in the trash. There is absolutely no need to keep out-of-date or irrelevant information if a contact is no longer in business or has upgraded to a new entity. Your network cannot be active if half of its occupants are out of business or unreachable.
Stop in to say “hi.” Networks are not a card collection that can be amassed and stored away for long periods of time. Check in with your business connections and perhaps even see if they could use anything in the near future. Keep your connections alive and healthy by maintaining open lines of communication. When you need a contact, they will be there.
Take it off the Internet. Some business owners have the type of model that does not require leaving their office chairs in order to build a network, but that is not the reality for every entrepreneur. Seek out real-world conferences and meetings for entrepreneurs and business owners and give your network the benefit of face-to-face interaction. Just remember to use your time wisely and make as many genuine connections as possible. In other words, don’t talk to the same person all night!
Networks are invaluable for garnering business deals, negotiating sales contracts and an endless number of other potential business benefits. Keep yours intact, up-to-date and ready to go.