Stay top-of-mind in business matters

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MANY of us are good at networking and piling up those business cards after a networking event. However, many will agree with me that those cards remain on our desks for weeks if not months on end.

Then when we need a lead, support or information about something, we remember the business card of a contact we met months ago. Trying to contact that person at that time then becomes rather difficult.

Last week we looked at some personal branding networking tips by Lida Citroên. One of her tips as I stated is that when you network, meeting people is the first step, but even more important is keeping in touch with them once you have made the connection and staying top of mind.

This week I would like to share with you some of her tips on how to stay top-of-mind.

  •  Become a resource: When you meet with people, get clues from your conversations about what their interests are and information that you might be able to share with them later. This will bring out the message that you care about this person rather than just a transaction.
  • As you come across articles and invitations, forward them: People love to get information that is valuable. Your online social networking tools can be used to get information that you can then forward on. For example, if you focus on a specific area and create a feed to get those articles sent to you, you can then be a resource to your contacts by forwarding that information to them.
  • Provide introductions: It is not possible to introduce everyone to everybody. However, if you know of a great prexecutive for instance, whom you feel should get to know a communications director, tell them and make that introduction. If it is online,e-mail Linked In makes this very easy.
  • Celebrate the success of others: Networking is about being focused on other people. Be a cheerleader for others who are in your network by congratulating them on their accomplishments and successes.
  • Write notes: The handwritten note is completely underestimated.

Most people love to get handwritten notes in the mail.
It is beyond an e-mail, it is beyond a type written note, and is one of the most powerful tools we can use today to build relationships.
 Give your network time to develop: Be patient. It is important to give your network time to grow.
-With intentional networking, it is not about one-night stands or just looking for sales. It is about looking for and building relationships.

Building trust is the ultimate goal in intentional networking and that takes time.

 Nonto Masuku is a director of an image and reputation management firm.