Every day, as we get busy with all the chores that are necessary to keep a business running, it is very easy to neglect the people with whom we have formed professional relationships along the way. In this article, you will see a few ways in which you can maintain all of those connections, without taking up too much of your time.
Spreadsheet for business contacts? Why not.
The first thing you can do to make sure that none of your professional contacts are forgotten is to make a list of those people. However you prefer to stay organized, whether you use a hand-written list or a spreadsheet, keeping a list of your contacts is important.
Once you have this, you will have something to reference that will help you stay in touch with everyone. This is also a good place to add pertinent information, such as phone numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses, and affiliations.
Send out a quick birthday wish.
Though you never really need a good reason to drop a line to your partners and colleagues from time to time, this is the perfect excuse to get in touch with someone.
First of all, you can utilize the aforementioned list to keep track of all your contacts’ birthdays, and just send them a quick note when that day comes around.
If you really want to be a nerd about it, you can even set up scheduled emails with a preloaded birthday message, even though it’s not quite as personal. and when you share it on your own page, then you’re joining the movement and pushing it further.
Say, “Hello” with an email.
It doesn’t take much to connect with people every once in awhile, and stay in touch. If you have an email address, you can send out a quick message simply saying hello and reminding a partner that you haven’t forgotten about them.
This will literally take no more than a couple of minutes, and you may be preserving a relationship that could prove to be very valuable to your business in the future.
Don’t ignore messages.
So far we’ve been going over ways that you can take the initiative in maintaining your professional relationships, but this, of course, works both ways.
When you do hear from a partner or colleague, you might as well respond as soon as they reach out to you because, again, it will only take a couple of minutes out of your day. Staying in contact is not difficult, but we all get lazy or distracted sometimes and decide to just ignore it.
Like and comment on their posts.
If they are active on social media, then you have a great opportunity to stay connected by simply being a part of their conversation. You can stay on their radar if you “like” or comment on a post every now and then, which is helpful for you to stay informed about other businesses on social media, as well.
Of course it’s not the most personal way to interact with people you know, but it’s a quick and easy way to meet them where they are.
You may ask yourself, “Why is it that important to be so diligent about my professional contacts?” The idea is that the more people with which you stay in contact, the more allies you will have.
Having a larger network means that you have access to people who can assist with projects, form new partnerships, and even help you through difficult periods of business. Maintaining your contacts is something that you will always thank yourself for, in the long run.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.