Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Keep It Alive, Part 1

This is the first post in a new series called “Keep It Alive.”

This collection of techniques will help you stay in touch with (and maintain) your network. Even when you think you’re too busy.

I encourage you to suggest your own techniques at the end of this post!



Guess what? Today you will be taking field trip!

No permission slip needed.

THE DESTINATION: your inbox.

Here’s your first assignment:

Start by going back to your oldest saved email message. Maybe it’s from last year. Maybe it’s from last month. Maybe it’s from last century. But spend the next half-hour working your way backwards to today.

By reviewing past emails, you’ll come across people, messages and issues you’ve completely forgotten all about. You might think, “Wow, I wonder what Karen’s been up to lately!” or “Hmm…I don’t recognize Mike’s name. Better re-read his message to refresh my memory.”

Either way, this trip down e-memory lane is the perfect exercise to workout those out of shape networking muscles. And if you can reconnect with just one person you otherwise wouldn’t have talked to, it will be worth it.

OK. Here’s your second assignment:

Another underused feature for staying in touch is the email auto-completer. Depending on which mail client you use, you should be able to do this in a few quick steps:

1. Go to “compose new message.”
2. Punch in any letter of the alphabet.
3. You should be prompted with a dozen or so potential email addresses starting with that same letter. Pick a name and email away!

It’s actually kind of fun. You’ll see names you completely forgot about!

Gmail is good at this. They provide you with a drop down box. It reminds you of every person you’ve ever emailed (or received an email from) over the years.

TRY THIS: every once in a while, take a few minutes and just go through the entire alphabet. You never know whose name might come up! And a simple, “We haven’t chatted in a while, so I just thought I’d drop a line and say hey!” is the perfect way to reconnect with an old friend or colleague.

Ultimately, running a monthly email search is the perfect tool to Keep It Alive with old contacts, friends and prospects.

Maybe it’s a simple “just checking in” note.
Maybe it’s a reply to an old message you forgot about.
Maybe it’s an email update to an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while.

EITHER WAY: people will appreciate your follow up.

PLUS, YOU NEVER KNOW: you might make a sale, reconnect with old friends, even made someone’s day!

AND SURE, it might seem like extra work.

But remember, the last four words in N-E-T-W-O-R-K are W-O-R-K!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you keep it alive?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Post your best Keep It Alive technique here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

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