- Provide value in every interaction – ask “how can I help you?” This involves 5 minutes of research into the contact so that you can ask intelligent questions / provide contacts. Odds are they won’t ask you to help, but that you care says a lot!
- Connect via LinkedIn, and if relevant, ask for connections. Smart people use this and get phenomenal results!
- Follow up with at least a thank you email to both the person who helped you and the person who referred you. Add one sentence of what you got out of the interaction and it will increase the warmth and fuzz 5x!
- Bcc Referrers. When you get introduced to someone, make sure to put the referrer on the BCC line so they don’t get all the replies. When you do so start your email with something like “[ReferrerName], thank you so much for the intro! I’ve moved you to BCC to spare your inbox. [MentorName], it is great to make your acquaintance…”
- Promote every connection – Send out a shout of thanks on twitter and retweet a message of theirs that is meaningful (where possible). This can be done on any of the social media platforms.
- Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, a lot are free – do not let valuable connections fall through the cracks!
- Ask to put contacts on a quarterly newsletter – (see crm above). People who help you generally would like to know that something came of it, and this is an automated way of maintaining your network. This is not the same as marketing emails!
The content of this post originally appeared on the Valley Venture Mentors blog and was inspired by advice from the awesome VVM Mentorship and Accelerator alum Damon Magnuski, co-founder of www.peoplehedge.com