The beginning of the year is a great time to reach out to your top clients, prospects and business friends and simply reconnect.
While you can't sit down and have lunch or coffee with everyone in your network, you can do it with the top 25 people in your inner circle.
During January and February you should not eat alone. If you find yourself at 11:30 roaming your office looking for a co-worker to go to lunch with, then you are wasting valuable time to build and cultivate your networking activities.
But to set up lunches (or coffee on the way into work) you need to plan ahead. Pick up the phone and call your contacts. Tell them that you would like the chance to get together and "catch up". Start today to fill your calendar for the next few weeks. Try to leave one day open each week for important meetings that come up last minute.
Once it is scheduled in your calendar, treat it like gold. Even if it is just a friend, do not cancel (unless it is a real emergency). Too often people will have something come up (or just feel over-worked) and cancel appointments at the last minute. REMEMBER, that other person might have had other things come up too.... but they moved those other meetings, NOT YOURS.
I had one woman whom I was to meet with send me an email just before the holidays saying "I need to cancel our lunch. I have decided to take a personal day and get a massage". I was thrilled to know that I ranked just below a back rub on the level of importance.
If you are not visiting with the key members of your network regularly, maybe your competition is spending time with them. OUCH. Don't stall. Call today.
Have A Great Day.