Building a network of business contacts takes time and patience. One great way to expand your network is to add “introductions” to your regular routine.
1) Utilize business cards – when you meet someone interesting, ask for their card and jot a comment or two on the back regarding the conversation / issue / opportunity:
|USE BUSINESS CARDS TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS
2) expand your electronic contact list, add new business cards into natural groupings (by interest, business opportunity, etc). Make notes of issues, interests and possible introductions where possible
3) use a business card scanner to easily enter your business contact information electronically. Technology has made these card readers easily accessible and useable for very reasonable prices at office supply stores.
4) when you meet someone who would benefit from an introduction to another contact, ask their permission to provide an introduction — note the “introduction” opportunity on the back of their business card to jog your memory later.
5) link up two or more individuals who may have a mutual benefit by email:
“Joe, I met Suzie Cue, who is an entrepreneur in the same business you are. She has some interesting marketing ideas that you might also benefit from. Suzie, I have known Joe Shmoe for 10 years and he runs a great small business in XYZ community. I think you two would enjoy meeting over coffee to discuss common business interests. Please consider this an introduction to both of you. your emails are as follows:
I have made an effort to facilitate at least 2 or 3 introduction per month. Over the years, I have had many thank you’s from those folks I have introduced – and some great stories of new opportunities and alliances formed. What a great feeling to know you have positively impacted other businesses in your circle of colleagues!