Building Your Professional Network
Illustration by Neil Webb

Building a system for recurring connections


From:

Building Your Professional Network

with Dave Crenshaw

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Video: Building a system for recurring connections

Now let's look at building your recurring connections systems. A system is a process that you follow to get consistent results time after time. To help you consider how well you are maintaining your recurring connections, I have provided a worksheet called the recurring connection self-assessment. This worksheet contains a series of statements and you will indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. Let us look at each of the statements briefly to explore some of the systems options that you already have.
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Watch the Online Video Course Building Your Professional Network
50m 36s Appropriate for all Apr 11, 2012 Updated Jan 03, 2013

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Join author and business coach Dave Crenshaw as he shows you how to build your professional connections by increasing your network and influence. This course reveals strategies to connect with people in person, build casual acquaintances into real connections, and leverage social media to increase your sphere of influence. Learn ways to build both communication channels and community as you serve your network and make yourself available for new introductions and opportunities.

This course is one of a series of five Dave Crenshaw courses based on his Invaluable teaching methodology for professional development.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how networking enhances your career
  • Getting out of your comfort zone
  • Making recurring connections
  • Using a customer relationship management (CRM) system
  • Building relationships through social networking
Subject:
Business
Author:
Dave Crenshaw

Building a system for recurring connections

Now let's look at building your recurring connections systems. A system is a process that you follow to get consistent results time after time. To help you consider how well you are maintaining your recurring connections, I have provided a worksheet called the recurring connection self-assessment. This worksheet contains a series of statements and you will indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with each of them. Let us look at each of the statements briefly to explore some of the systems options that you already have.

The first statement is about the results we want. My professional contacts here from or see me at least once per month. This is the goal you are striving for in recurring connections. Are you there yet? The next statement is I have a calendar schedule for contact with my professional connections. Usually, once or twice a month is enough time is that in your schedule. The next statement is I participate in a company newsletter that goes out to customers. Are you contributing articles to your company's physical or e-mail newsletter? See if there is an opportunity there.

The next statement is, I have a regular newsletter that goes out to my professional contacts. You may have a personal newsletter goes out to friends and family. But what about your professional connections, this can be as simple as a brief e-mail with a picture or a short thought that goes out to everyone in your network. Next, I participate in a random system to connect with professional contacts. This relates to the principle of unexpected gift, unexpected time.

You want a system that reminds you to make unexpected contact with your connections such as every 47 days. Do you have a set reminder for yourself at some strange interval of time? The next statement is I use a system for recognizing significant dates in the lives of my professional contacts. CRM's can provide reminders to you, when these dates occur and some can even automatically send out the cards and messages on your behalf.

Are you sending these consistently? And this leads to the last statement. I use a CRM to track my interactions with my contacts, whether you are making these connections personally or through your company, you want to keep a record of every interaction that you have? Are you using a CRM so that you can easily see every communication you've had with them. Finally, you will see a blank space for you to put your own creative ideas for recurring contacts, maybe you'd like to invite people to attend an event or do some other unusual activity for them.

Whatever it is feel free to be as creative as you like. Remember, the more unique, unexpected, and personal it is, the more meaningful it will be to your connections. After you complete the top portion of the questionnaire, there are two questions for you to answer. First what is one area where I want to improve my recurring connection systems? Pick one thing that comes to mind as you have gone through this process that you like to change. Next what is the next action step that I can take to make that improvement happen by taking one small positive action, you'll make what you have learned about recurring connections become a reality.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Building Your Professional Network .


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Q: This course was updated on 01/03/2012. What changed?
A: This course was retitled, streamlined, and refined throughout, resulting in a slightly shorter runtime. We also added new graphics and a new welcome movie. 
 
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