Steps to Networking – Step 74: Negative responses

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 14th, 2010

STEP 74: Negative responses

If your contact isn’t responsive, try to preserve the connection. Things always change and today’s rejections could be tomorrow’s acceptances so don’t abandon the contact. Be patient, but be persistent. Gently remind your contact about yourself without being a pain.

• Send articles or information that might interest your contact and include brief notes that say, “I thought this might interest you. Hope all is well. My best. Phil.” Don’t overdo it or you will be considered a pest and your communiqués will be avoided. Send only truly relevant information and set the standards for what you send extremely highly.

• If you get an outright rejection, ask, “Who else can you recommend that I can call?” If you receive a name or names, obtain permission to use your contact’s name. If he/she agrees, call and say, “Don Martin of the Times suggested that I call you.”

• Keep your contacts in the loop. Report on how your dealings with his/her referrals went and clearly express your thanks. Report back whenever you reach a major plateau.

• If you finalize a deal through your contact’s referral, send a gift to show your appreciation. You don’t have to break the bank or buy a lavish gift, but send something, even a plant, flowers or candy.

Following up is not simply a short-term strategy, it’s a critical discipline that is essential in networking. Following up is how you convert leads into lasting network relationships. It’s a time-tested method that is critical in building and maintaining productive networks. Following up broadens your contact base; sharpens your skills and impresses others by demonstrating your professionalism, reliability and dedication.

In following up, a delicate balance must be maintained between persistence and pushiness. Although you frequently have to be persistent, be persistent with a light and gentle touch. When you email or call contacts, be warm, friends, fun and grateful. Don’t by pushy, overly forceful or aggressive. Approach contacts with soft, little nudges, not atomic warheads. Be patient because if you’re too push, you may give you the book to get you off their backs, which is the last thing that you want.

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

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