Wednesday, June 06, 2007

66 Tips To Better Networking - #5

Reach Out One More Time

Not everyone makes their connections with other people a priority. While I disagree with folks who are dismissive of others, it is not a crime. Therefore, if you do value the importance of cultivating relationships, you will need to do more than the next guy to make, keep and grow your business relationships.

At the same time, you can only do so much. Often you will encounter a person whom you expect could be a good contact, and yet they will never call you back. When you see them at a business event they appear genuine in their excitement to see you....and eagerly suggest that you get together for coffee. However, they are slow to return calls. When you do schedule a rendez-vous, they are fast to cancel on you at the last minute. Hmmmmmm.

When you reach the end of your rope with someone like this, I suggest that you reach out one more time. If you really feel that you have done all you can to try to make a connection, but the other person is not receptive, then you make a final effort to get their attention. One last call, email, text message or send up smoke signals. If they still do not respond, then just move forget about them. Not everyone you meet is destined to become part of your network of professional contacts.

I have a business acquaintance whom canceled on me three times in a row, each time giving me a very long explanation about the amazing people with whom he is doing business, and explaining how busy he was with these important VIP's. The facts were clear, I was not a priority. Rather than getting angry, I decided to give it one more effort. I called him and we did schedule coffee for a week later. Again, he rescheduled.... but this time I expected his anti-social behavior, so I was not angry. I simply have not called him to schedule another meeting. I decided not to take his actions personally, but I do not need to have him in my network.

I ran into him last week at a business seminar and he again excitedly wanted to schedule a time to meet. I told him that I would welcome it after my upcoming vacation. If he calls me in July I will be happy to actually see him, but I will not make the effort again to instigate the contact. There are many others whom could become my clients, prospects, referral sources and friends. I suggest you only invest your time where it is mutually beneficial.

Always give that last effort and reach out for a final time...but don't tell them that they are on notice. Giving an ultimatum is never useful in a business networking situation. Simply and calmly make a mental note that this is their last chance. If they fail to come through, chalk it up as a lesson learned about the other person's character. Then forget about it. When you see them in the future, be polite. If they are truly interested in building a connection, they will work hard to garner your attention. If not, they never cared much about you anyway.

Have A Great Day.


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