Put the Social Back in Your Networking

Feeling a little out of touch with your referral sources lately? If you do, you are not alone. It’s no secret that getting face-to-face with your referrals is often tough for practitioners, especially during busy season and now into the summer months. Although your intention to meet regularly is noble, it is often preempted by deadlines and difficult to work around family vacations. Sure, you have tried to keep up with them between meetings and reports via LinkedIn and Facebook, but somehow it’s just not the same as visiting in person. Maybe it’s time to reconnect now that you have cleared the clutter from your desk.

  1. What’s the best way for a busy practitioner to reconnect?
  2. Make a list of your best referral sources. 
  3. Take a look at your calendar for times that are best for a meeting.
  4. Depending on your comfort level and preference, send an email via LinkedIn or simply pick up the phone and give them a call. Don’t be embarrassed that you have not seen them lately. They understand. Your email or conversation might go something like this:

    Jane, I know it has been a while since we last got together, but you have been on my mind. Now that my schedule has cleared a bit from the busy season deadlines, I would welcome the opportunity to reconnect, get caught up on what is new with you and learn where you are spending your time and energy these days. How does lunch next Tuesday or Friday look for you?  If those don’t work for you, just let me know a few dates that might work better.

  5. Once the meeting is set, consider key questions and talking points for your meeting such as: 
  • What is new with you?
  • How are you spending your time these days?
  • What issues are of concern to your clients/customers lately?
  • What directives are you currently working toward?
  • Tell me about the types of clients/customers you are looking for – has this changed since we last met?