It’s still not what you know, it’s still who you know. You know? Get-It-Done Guy offers six more must-have networking tips for new college grads to get you started on building strong, lifelong professional relationships.
#4 - Connect via linkedIn
Although physical cards are good for memory, connecting online makes referrals easier. You can learn more about someone from their online presence. Plus, LinkedIn is a good place to store your contacts over time. Once you’ve entered a person into your address book, send them a LinkedIn contact request. You may never use the online connection, but it costs nothing to create, and just might turn out to be useful someday.
#5 - Reach out to follow up
Remember how you’re going to be proactive about his? Now’s the time. It’s easy and tempting just to sit back and wait for your new connection to contact you. They won't.
“But they might!” you cry. No, they won't. They’re too busy dealing with their own work, their life, and their Twitter feed. It’s up to you to reach out to them. No one’s going to do it for you.
A one-time contact is forgettable. But investing the time and effort to connect one-on-one makes you much more memorable.
Once you’ve made your initial contact, schedule a follow-up call or in-person meeting. A one-time contact is forgettable. But investing the time and effort to connect one-on-one makes you much more memorable. That’s how you start building a real friendship that will become part of your enduring network.
#6 - Say Thank You
If someone you meet does you a favor, make sure to drop them a thank-you note. You can send it by email, but if you have their physical address, send an actual card. Yes, you’ll have to do all that work of getting a card, writing words on it, and then sealing it in one of those envelope thingees, which may involve licking glue. Gross. You may even have to search for instructions on how to write an address. (Who does that anymore?) Then you'll need to put a stamp on the envelope and put it in a mailbox.
If that sounds like a lot of work, well ... that’s why to do it. People will be impressed, and they'll remember that you went to all that trouble to thank them.
Maintaining Relationships Takes Effort
Learning to build and maintain relationships is the number one survival skill for a social animal. You are a social animal. You must learn the relatively few in-person skills needed to build relationships.
Remember people by taking pictures together. Establish a place to keep your cards so you remember them long enough to add them to your address book at the end of the day. Then, connect via LinkedIn so you’re friends offline and online. (Also, LinkedIn needs to build your profile, and every friend connection helps). Reach out to follow up, and remember to send thank-you cards when people do you a favor. I can’t guarantee these tips will lead to you making a new bff, but they’ll help establish a strong foundation for a business relationship.
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Work less, do more, and have a great life!