1. Stay in regular contact with your database. That’s one of the reasons I send out emails like my weekly newsletter. In my opinion there’s no point having a database unless they’re receiving something (relevant!) from you regularly. It doesn’t have to be every week – find out what works for you and always make sure you’re asking permission before sending people anything.
2. Remember special dates. Make it a goal this week to get at least 2 special dates out of someone you network with. It may be getting all the children’s birthdays of your employees, it may be getting all your workmates anniversaries – anything, so that you can diarise and make someone feel special and remembered. Be creative with getting these if you need to – for example, our landlords provide their birthdates as security on their management agreements, we then also use that to send out a little gift on their birthdays – sometimes I’ll also ask the question “my husband thinks he’s not going to remember our wedding anniversary – does yours”
3. Don’t freak out if you get scared walking into a crowded room full of strangers! It’s not just the extroverts that can network like crazy. Work out how to network to best play up your strengths. For example, personalised hand written cards are a always a winner. People keep a handwritten card (I know I’ve seen some up to 8 years old that I’ve sent!)
4. Remember little details. The most special moments for me are when someone remembers something small I’ve told them like a doctor’s appointment and remembering to ask how it went, or forwarding on a newspaper article on a topic they know I’m interested in.
5. Be a bit wacky. People network with people in ordinary ways every single day. Why not surprise someone! For example – send out a $1 scratchie with all your work related Christmas cards this year – it will only marginally increase your cost, but imagine the word of mouth if someone wins $50 or $5,000! For that matter – I always send my Christmas cards out mid / late November, so they arrive early. I know I get swamped with cards mid / late December – make yours stand out. I just read recently of a woman who bought a used limousine to drive her real estate clients around – now that’s an experience I would remember!
6. Systemise your networking so that it’s hassle free. For me diary notes pop up to remind me to send this email, to do my birthdays & anniversaries monthly and to send out my database newsletter. Without those reminders – I’m sure this email wouldn’t go out regularly like it does.
7. Network up. Find the most successful person in your industry or chosen career path and offer to take them out to lunch. Then ask them tonnes of questions! At one stage they weren’t even in your industry – what did they do to get started, questions questions questions.
8. Give someone else business to get business from them. If you refer a client to your chiropractor – and leave them some cards, they’ll feel more obliged to refer you a client. If you send your accountant a new client – they’ll surely be more likely to recommend you when someone says they need someone in your industry. Tap into the law of reciprocity and you’ll see how it works amazingly well.