Tuesday I texted my friend and colleague Karamel to say hello. We ended up talking on the phone.
A few minutes into our conversation Karamel asked, “How come you reached out to me today?”
Somewhat taken aback, I said, “No reason other than I was thinking of you. What makes you ask?”
“I’m usually the one who reaches out to people,” she said. “So, it felt nice that you reached out to me.”
Karamel is also a business owner, so we ended up having a lengthy conversation about the importance of staying in touch with people as a marketing and business strategy. You know, reaching out simply to say hello, no hidden agenda. (Side note: I love it when people reach out! It does feel good!)
How often do you stay in touch with peers, prospects. clients, employees…no hidden agenda?
Relationships matter in business
Leaders need to build trust with their teams. And business owners and entrepreneurs need to build trust with prospects and clients.
Yet all too often I hear from people that they do not stay in touch. They’re too busy, don’t want to bother people, or have no idea what to say.
Those, my friend, are formalities. And they are holding you back from nurturing your most precious business asset – relationships.
Following up and staying in touch is an overlooked, and vital, component of business networking. Staying in touch says “I care about you”. And more than ever, people need to know you care.
How do you show people you care?
As someone who has been networking for 15 years and now hosts monthly networking events, I often stress the importance of following up and staying in touch.
This simple act can make a big difference in strengthening the relationship, staying top of mind and achieving desired business results.
Here’s the thing: it takes time and effort to nurture the connection and build the relationship.
Staying in touch requires more than an email after an event that reads, “Great to meet you!” Or a LinkedIn connection that grows stale because there is no interaction.
Meeting someone at one event is the starting point. The real work happens when the event ends.
Are you willing to do the work?
Are you willing and able to…
- Send a text
- Pick up the phone or meet on Zoom to catch up
- Mail a handwritten note
- Invite someone to a remote networking event
- Have a virtual lunch or cocktail
- Volunteer on a committee
- Comment on someone’s LinkedIn post instead of scrolling by
- Host an event of your own
Commit to the work to see the results
There are so many ways to stay in touch and show people you care. Be the one who reaches out. Be the one who stands out. Do it consistently.
Be the one who gets results and brightens someone’s day.
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Attend an event. Networking, learning, meaningful conversations. Shed the formality at one of our upcoming networking or educational events. Check out the calendar.