Steps to Networking – Step 79: Advocates’ list

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 14th, 2010

STEP 79: Advocates’ list

List the top 25 individuals who provide you with business and are members of your inner circle. Business advisor Mark LeBlanc calls this your advocate’s list because the people on this list will really go to bat for you. The people on your advocates’ list are your prime supporters. They won’t just call their contacts to recommend you, they will call and set up meetings or try to convince their contacts that they can’t live or stay in business without hiring you or using your product or services.

Every month, send the 25 members on your advocates’ list something that will remind them about you, LeBlanc advises. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, just enough to make the recipients think positively of you. For example you can send a simple email greeting, a newsletter, an article, a cartoon, statistical information, a copy of your book or a discount for using your product or service. Constantly look for interesting and fun items that you can send your advocates.

At least once each year, contact everyone listed in your database. Send letters for special occasions such as Christmas, the New Year, birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, tax time, your favorite hero’s birthday or invent some other reason. Let them know that you’re still around, still in business and that you’re thinking of them.

When you contact the members of your advocates’ list or database via postal mail, score extra points by personalizing your communications with the addition of a short, handwritten note or comment. Taking the time and making the effort to add, “Hope all is well!,” “Miss seeing you!” or “How about lunch soon?,” will go a long way to rekindling and maintaining important relationships.

Action steps

1. Identify four contact management systems or software programs to investigate for your use.

2. Set forth the criteria for contacts to be included on your A List.

3. Compose a standard thank you note that you could adapt to send or email your appreciation.
4. List three ways that you can follow up with contacts who do not respond to your approaches.

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

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