Professionally, you want to be known by as many people as possible. To do so, you need to network. This doesn’t mean going to events and collecting business cards. It means meeting people, consciously deciding who you want in your network and then nurturing those connections and relationships.
There are many ways to do this. Think about and come up with ideas and strategies to ‘touch’ your connections. There are various ways to do this, such as by sending an email to check in, forwarding an article on a topic of interest, or sending a book. Of course, you always can pick up the phone and call. The choice is yours, but you should know your connections sufficiently well to know what type of contact is best.
The idea of thoughtful acts or gifts isn’t new, but it is something else you should think about. I have a partner who is great at this. He will get to know people and send them thoughtful gifts. When he learns a connection is a fan of a specific professional or college sports team, he sends a gift related to their team. This is easy to do online. You can bet the people who receive those unexpected thoughtful gifts remember him. And these types of gifts are great because most people will keep them in their office and are more likely to think of the sender because they see their gift every day.
Another idea is to hold gatherings where you can bring your connections together. Certain of your connections are great connections for other of your connections. You need to be connecting your connections! Hold a formal meeting, go to lunch or host a happy hour. The choice is yours, but people appreciate and remember when you are willing to help them by introducing them to your valued connections.
If you sit around hoping for work to fall out of the sky, it will be a long wait. Instead you need to jump in feet first to networking. As you make new connections, the next step is deepening those connection. Great connectors and networkers work on their network every day.
What’s going to be your first step to build and nurture your connections and relationships?
As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, Business Law Guy's Blog .
About the Author: Neal Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk . He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation, workouts and bankruptcy litigation. Neal can be reached at 602.248.1000.