When it comes to business relationships, your network of contacts can prove highly beneficial to your professional life as well as to your business in general – but only if you nurture them properly. It can be difficult to know the most effective approach to this – your time is precious and you need this to work as efficiently as possible. Read on for our easily implemented suggestions and start work on actively maintaining your professional network today.
- Attend networking events
Regularly search for sessions that are taking place in your local area, or check out supplementary networking events that may be offered during professional conferences so that you can network with business contacts face to face on a regular basis. This way your existing professional contacts will be more likely to remember you and you will also get the opportunity to grow your existing network – there is no real substitute for meeting in person.
- Stay connected on social platforms
Whilst it’s great to be able to meet face-to-face with business contacts, you should also nurture your professional relationships on social platforms such as LinkedIn – share interesting content, update your profile regularly, and be an active member of a discussion group on a topic that interests you. That way, your contacts will see that you’re engaged with your industry and have interesting things to say, making them more likely to reach out to you.
- Put in a phone call or personal email
It can be all too easy to assume that you are in touch with your business contacts simply because you are connected on social media, or you saw them for a brief chat during that conference a few months ago, but you should try to make the effort to reach out personally every once in a while. Ideally, give your contact a call – have something specific in mind to discuss with them so that you aren’t just calling for the sake of it or this may frustrate them if it means cutting into their busy day. If calling is not possible, or you’d prefer something a little more informal, send an email instead. Just ensure that the email isn’t too generic so that they know that you are directly addressing them and not simply blasting an email to your entire contact list.
- Offer a favor
Offering to help out is a great way to maintain strong and meaningful relationships with your business contacts, particularly if you are looking to nurture the contact with a view to working on something that you think may be mutually beneficial for both of you. Always approach the subject with an offer to help first, that way your contact will be much more receptive to any ideas you might want to float, and having something particular like this to discuss will give you a good reason to be in touch regularly and keep building on your professional relationship.
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