Steps to Networking – Step 70: Utilize a system

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 14th, 2010

STEP 70: Utilize a system

Save business cards, contact information and other contact literature. Treat them like receipts that you might need for an IRS audit. Keep all of the original information you collect in a designated place and hold on to it even after you have entered all of the contact information in your files.

Develop a system and follow up religiously in a business-like manner. After making a contact, don’t just go home and toss your contract’s business card in with the pile of others you collected over the last six months. Business cards won’t follow up by themselves. They won’t go to the phone, call contacts and make dates for lunch. But you should if you’re serious about networking!

Buy or create a system to prioritize and file contact information. Use your PalmPilot®, similar devices or any of the excellent contact-management software on the market. Many contact-management programs are readily available and most are easy to set up and use. Or create your own system. Whatever you choose should contain room for: Your contact’s:

• Name
• Business/employer
• Street address
• Email Address
• Telephone number
• Back up telephone numbers including cellular phone numbers
• Fax number
• Web site address
• Specialty area and
• Family information

Also record:

• The names of common friends or contacts
• Source information on how and where you got your contact’s name
• Background and personal information such as your contact’s education, interests, accomplishments, awards, likes, dislikes, political affiliations, religious affiliations, charitable work and stories or jokes he/she told
• Dates you last spoke and what was said
• Your next step and
• Future plans or actions

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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