People often ask me, “how can I get back in touch with people or stay in touch with people that I haven’t seen or spoken with recently?”
If you want to connect or reconnect with others, you must meet them where they are. Here are seven strategies that will help you improve in this area. If you can’t do them all, do what works for you.
- Sort through your list.
You can’t stay in touch with everyone. Who do you want to make sure to stay connected with and why? You can create a personal list, a professional one or a mix of both. Create a list that you want to focus on.
- Use the system they use.
You don’t have to only connect on Facebook or LinkedIn. Use Pinterest, Snapchat or other programs — whatever they use. Each of my children use different systems. If I want to connect with them, I need to go where they are. For my oldest daughter, it’s texting or a phone call. My second daughter, it’s What’sApp or texting. For my son, it’s an online game called Steam. I have some business associates who only reach out to me on Facebook or LinkedIn and others who strictly email. The key here is to go where the people you want to talk to go.
- Use social media platforms.
Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to share news and read updates without having to reach out to people on an individual basis. Instead of starting your next call with, “What’s new?” you can jump to, “You cut off your hair!” or “You have a new job!”
- From time to time, use snail mail.
Send a letter or a card. It’s so “old school” it’s almost guaranteed that someone will read it and appreciate the time you took to send it.
- Skype or other instant message systems.
I’m not a big fan, but it’s not about me, it’s about the other person. What are they using? Again, if you want to stay connected, connect where they are.
- Periodic phone calls.
I know, it sounds like a crazy idea. Actually talk to people. If appropriate, set up regular calls. My wife and her sister have done that for many years.
- Face to face.
Don’t be a “cave dweller.” Nothing beats actually meeting someone face-to-face and having a conversation. You have to eat breakfast and lunch every day, so why not do this a few times a week with a good referral partner? You can kill two birds with one stone by strategizing with your referral partner about how to help each other over a meal.
Benign neglect is a horrible thing when it comes to building social capital. Start today to stay in touch. Pick a few of the techniques I listed above and “touch” someone. You have to start by making a commitment to improving in this area. If you haven’t been good at this in the past, start to focus on improving today.
Do you have a strategy to add? Or an example of how you use one of the seven? Share it in the comments.
Blog originally published on http://ivanmisner.com
Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of BNI. Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by CNN and one of the “Top Networking Experts” by Forbes, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He and his wife, Elisabeth, are now “empty nesters” with three adult children. In his spare time, he is also an amateur magician and a black belt in karate.