4 Simple Ways To Revitalize Your Outdated Professional Network
Unless you work in outbound sales, “keeping up with your network” might be low on your to do list. Unfortunately, poor maintenance of business relationships often leads to a stale and outdated connections that are no longer working for you.
While this is natural, it’s not good for your career. The value of your network and the value of your income or salary are closely related. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to stay connected to your network with fresh interactions.
Not sure how to step forward with an outdated business contact? Here are four ideas you can use to break the ice:
Send a link
You don’t have to make a big deal out of every interaction or even make an original statement. Get back in touch with a business contact seeking out a recent blog article or study related to their industry. Send it to them by email or through LinkedIn and tell them you thought of them. Then ask a follow-up question to get the ball rolling.
Take 30 minutes each week and consider your work history. Try to think of different moments in your career in which someone helped you or said something insightful that lead you to a new opportunity. Write a handwritten note, email, or LinkedIn message to thank them for their contribution and let them know you’re thinking of them. If the favor was particularly beneficial, you might even consider a thank-you gift.
Make a connection
The odds are low that you’re the only person in your network feeling disconnected. Take initiative and make a connection between two people in your network who you think could benefit each other, or simply get along. Write a connecting email to both of them giving a short elevator pitch about each contact and a quick summary of why you think they might be able to help each other. Then follow up separately with each person to ask how the connection worked out.
Use the golden rule
The golden rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated. If you’re nervous about reconnecting with your network because of how much time has passed, consider how you would feel if the situation was reversed, and an old contact reached out to you. You’d likely welcome the reconnection and feel flattered that they thought of you.
When you aren’t actively seeking a new position or going out to networking events, it’s easy to fall out of touch with your network. Don’t let that happen to you. Use these four steps to engage with your contacts and continuously invest in your relationships.