In yesterday’s edition of Promotional Consultant Today we looked at super-connector Chris Fralic’s seven rules for making memorable connections. But, making the connection is just the beginning of being well connected. Relationships yield results when they are cultivated and maintained over the years. This, Fralic, notes is where so many fail. “They get too busy, disorganized, nervous or pessimistic to follow up the right way,” Fralic writes. “The result: too many high-potential relationships fizzle for no good reason.”
Today we are concluding this series by looking at a few of Fralic’s do’s and don’ts on how to keep connections thriving, as posted in First Round Today.
DO: Keep Your “Dream Contact” List Ready. Think about who you want to connect with and why. Keep a list of your five “dream contacts” and be ready to concisely articulate why you want to meet them. You never know when you might run into someone who knows them.
DO: Craft Low-Lift Requests. Knowing that you are dealing with busy people, keep your requests reasonable and your emails to these contacts short, simple and to the point. Include your phone number in case the contact finds it easier to call than to reply by email.
DO: Follow Up And Follow Through. This may sound basic, but follow up after a meeting and follow through on the deliverables you promised. Fralic notes that a shocking number of people don’t adhere to this simple step.
DO: Devise Your Own System To Keep In Touch. Fralic uses a web-based contact management software that sends him regular reminders to reach out to those he wants to touch base with frequently. Use what works for you. If your organizational system can help you make one additional, meaningful and thoughtful email to a contact per day, it is worth it.
DO: Prepare. There is so much information about people online today that a little research before each meeting can pay rich dividends. Be so prepared for each meeting that you reach the “zone of indifference”—that point where you can look yourself in the mirror and know you’ve done everything you could by the time you reach the meeting.
DON’T: Ambush People. Before you act as a bridge to connect two of your contacts together, ask for their permission first.
DON’T: Reach Out Only When You Need Something. If you only contact your connections when you need something, it becomes obvious and you will quickly burn those connections. Use the organizational system and your research to contact your connections on a regular basis to check how they are doing, ask about their accomplishments or provide something of value to them.
Source: Chris Fralic is a partner at First Round Capital and has more than 25 years of technology industry experience with significant internet business development roles since 1996 including VP of business development at both Del.icio.us (acquired by Yahoo!) and Half.com (acquired by eBay).