Time to clean your networking house

We were on a rampage last week. My husband and I decided it was time to give 50+ boxes of old business and household files the old heave ho. We called in a shredding truck and within 45 minutes 2300 pounds of excess paper clutter was outta here. As the truck drove off we felt a sense of giddy relief.  Everything seemed fresher, lighter.  We could move forward with our lives and businesses.

So what does this have to do with networking? Plenty.

What’s your contact database or address book look like these days? Is it bulging with outdated information on people you haven’t seen or heard from in years?  Are there people in there who you don’t really know or hardly remember? Do all these people really want to hear from you or do business with you? And vice versa? Really?  Are you sure?

“What?” you might be saying. “Databases don’t need cleaning. The more contacts the better!”

That may be true in some cases.  But just like attics, closets, filing cabinets, and junk drawers, your address book and database need to be freshened up and cleared out from time to time.  Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Why not have a database that’s smaller, but more up to date, more manageable, richer with potential, and filled with people who are more likely to appreciate and need you– and vice versa?

You might feel less overwhelmed and (just an idea) you might actually be able to stay in touch in a meaningful way. You’ll be kicking up less sand with your networking and promotions. Maybe you’ll even see more and better results.

And here’s the other thing: If you take someone off your list, it doesn’t mean they’re dead to you.  If they need you, trust me, they’ll find you and they’ll contact you. Especially if you make it easy for them via a good website and a regular presence in places where you need to be.  What’s more, it’s normal for people to flow in and out of our lives.

Here’s a challenge that may make a good weeding-out easier:  Go through your address book or database and see if you can find just 10 names you can delete. Just 10. Try it. See if it makes you feel fresher, lighter, less encumbered, and more able to move forward in your life and business.


Haven’t read The Intentional Networker™ yet? Head over to Amazon right  now and download Chapter 1 of the ebook version FREE. Check it out here.


4 Responses to Time to clean your networking house
  1. Janki DePalma
    November 18, 2011 | 11:18 am

    Took just a few minutes and I easily found 15 folks that were no longer at their positions and they haven’t told me where they are. Feels a little better knowing that my contact list is that much closer to being “spot on”. I’d like to get to the point where I could call anyone in my contact list and be able to connect in a meaningful way (and vice versa).
    Enjoyed meeting you at the SMPS talk… already have started saying “hello” vs. “hi” to people on the street. Am starting your book right now, I may make it required reading before our company-wide marketing summit.

  2. Lorie Marrero
    November 19, 2011 | 7:20 pm

    Amen, sister!! You know how I feel about this! And, WOW, on the pounds of shredding! That is more than I usually see on our shred jobs– you really let go of a lot! Nice job!

  3. todd schnick
    November 20, 2011 | 3:39 pm

    you know me, i love simplifying… thanks for the reminder…

  4. Sherry Mullin
    November 23, 2011 | 6:33 am

    What a great time of the year to do this too! Thanks for the encouragement to ‘get it done’.

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