Networking isn’t just about more

Ever consider what would happen if you planted a garden, then another and another and another and even several more, but you never went back and watered, weeded, or even harvested the first ones you planted?

Sometimes it feels like this is becoming the new definition of networking. More is better. The person who collects the most “connections” (real or imagined) wins. Following up and circling back are secondary or too much trouble.

Be honest with yourself: are you guilty of this? Do you know others who are?

As the season of harvest and thankfulness approaches, take stock for a moment.  Do you really need to focus on meeting more people?  Or would it be better to occasionally pause, take stock, and do some reconnecting with “your people”? The ones you already know and who have been there for you along the journey?

Take a moment this week and flip through your Rolodex, address book, database — whatever you use. Can you identify two or three people who you haven’t seen or talked to in awhile?  Pinpoint the ones who have brought you value over the years in the way of business, referrals, encouragement, or inspiration.  Reach out to them, preferably by phone or via a brief, handwritten note. Email, if you must. An invitation to coffee or lunch is okay, but optional.

Be sincere and humble. No selling, no guilt, no requests.  Simply let these people know you’re thinking of them and would love to hear what’s new in their world. Nothing more than that. (Unless you want to share something you’ve really appreciated about having them in your life.)

See what happens.  You may find this to be the most satisfying and cost-effective networking you’ll do all week.


Have you read The Intentional Networker™ and found it valuable?  I’d be absolutely delighted it if you would take a moment to post your review on Amazon (or list it in one of your Listmania book lists.)  Thanks!


4 Responses to Networking isn’t just about more
  1. Mike O'Krent
    October 9, 2011 | 9:55 am

    Great advice, Patti. It comes at a perfect time. I enjoy DeNotations. Keep them coming.

  2. Todd Schnick
    October 10, 2011 | 10:26 am

    you can apply this same principle to people and their social networking too…

  3. Susan Moore
    October 10, 2011 | 12:11 pm

    This is so true! It’s so easy to get spread thin and not cultivate the relationships we already have, whether it’s our friends, clients or business connections. I just reached out last week to a couple of business friends that I hadn’t seen in months and can’t wait to catch up with them. Of course, trying to get onto each other calendars is ridiculous, which is obviously why we need to put more effort into it. Thanks for the great posts!

  4. Julie Tereshchuk
    October 10, 2011 | 4:02 pm

    How timely, Patti. Just last week I went through my facebook ‘friends’ and reduced them to just under 300. As I use facebook primarily for personal contacts, I still think 300 is excessive so I plan on doing a lot more unfriending in the weeks to come. ‘Quality, not quantity’ is my motto.

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