You work hard to make friends … but it is easy to lose touch with them.
You move away from your childhood home and lose touch with many or all of your school friends.
You move away from the city where you went to college or university and again you lose touch with people.
You get extra busy with life, raising a family, building a career … and you neglect some of your friends.
It seems to happen to most of us in varying degrees.
In business you work hard to establish business relationships, but in exactly the same way as with personal contacts it can be very easy to lose touch with those people.
You move jobs, move geographies, get wrapped up in big projects and before you know it years have passed since you last talked to many of your contacts.
Maintaining relationships with people takes effort, but that effort is worth it if you can retain those relationships over the long haul.
Here are some ideas for keeping in touch with your network:
1. Make lists … a good time management habit! You might have several lists:
the close friends list;
the personal acquaintances list;
the current clients list;
the ex-clients list;
the family list.
If you are really organised you might use a CRM like tool, or a contact manager.
2. Decide your various contact strategies for these lists.
Hand written notes
Dinners, lunches, breakfasts or coffees.
Information specific to them based on hobbies, their career, other interests or your joint history.
Social networks on which to connect (Facebook, LinkedIN etc)
3. Set aside time regularly to make sure you execute on your plan.
4. Use your calendar to make sure you track important dates.
5. Plug time into your schedule, in your calendar, to spend with the important people in your life.
As you get busier it is easy to let things slip, and relationships can “go stale” or worse pretty quickly!
“Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.” Elizabeth Arden