December 17, 2009
Are You Keeping in Touch with YOUR Network?
Today, when I checked my emails, I found a very important message from one of my LinkedIn connections. I wanted to share her message and my response because I feel there is a very valuable lesson to be learned.
Here is the message I received:
Hoping and praying all is well. As I was sending out messages to my connections to see how they were doing, I received back a message that one of my connections, Jeff Regan had passed away on August 2. This was a shock to me as I just assumed everyone is alive and well.
Jeff was a really kind man who always sent his connections update messages on what was going on in his life and how he may assist with his business.
I know we network here mainly for business purposes, but take time out to see how your connections are doing personally.
My response, while reminding myself that I need to do a lot more of this was:
We all pride ourselves on our networking abilities, but for some reason, seem to get bogged down in all other business activities, with the mindset that I'll do it later. Later just keeps getting pushed back further and further and then we don't do it. Pretty soon, it is lodged so far back in our memory that we just move on to other things. All of a sudden, it's too late.
The connections you worked so hard to make, the relationships you were beginning to establish, and the ones that were already established could be completely demolished in a heartbeat! Who wants to be known as a networker who does not have the energy, the compassion, the drive to keep in touch. Do we only want to contact our network when we need something? No, and I do mean, NO!
Keeping in touch is so critical to our network. Not only in having the opportunity to share good things with one another, but in the times when necessary, share some sad information that could prove to be beneficial in the support of the family members when something traumatic happens to one of our connections. Take the example above, about Jeff Regan. I feel so bad in the fact that although I didn't know Jeff well at all, if I had kept in touch, I might have known he was not feeling well, been involved in an accident, or whatever it was that caused his death. I could have sent thoughts, prayers, general condolences to his family members during their time of grief. I could have shown them I am a thoughtful, kind, compassionate person. Isn't that what we want our network to think about us?
Building networks and keeping in touch is not always only about business. Remember, people do business with PEOPLE. Doing business with people, means caring about all parts of the person, their personal life, their business life, etc.
What are your intentions for building your network. What do YOU want them to think about YOU - what do you want to be known for? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. As for me, I know I am going to put forth a greater effort to keep in touch with not only my nearest and dearest connections, but my entire network. Let's share our experiences, let's grow together and let's be there to support each other, in good times and in bad. Let's encourage our network to keep on doing great things; show our gratitude for the help and guidance we have received and be the first to extend your hand in taking the relationship to a new level.
So what are you waiting on - dig out those unused beautiful note cards hiding in your desk and send one to someone in your network; if you don't have mailing addresses, then the next best thing is an email. It doesn't matter what or how - it's important to just do it! People need to know you care!
Tell me, what's going on in your world? What's important to you, your family or your business? What has made YOU smile lately?
To Your Networking Success!
Carol Deckert is a Networking Coach and the Netweaving Expert for Group Mastery. She's the founder of Referrals Unlimited Network, has more than 6,700 first-level connections in LinkedIn and approximately 1,800 “friends” on Facebook and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter! Carol knows you do need the numbers before you can accumulate quality connections, because not every connection will be a good one for you. Through her netweaving work, she helps others learn to do what she did, save them lots of time and heartache, by teaching them how to network efficiently and effectively. Contact Carol on Skype: deckert1116