I listened to the podcast on Building a Network and quickly came to the realization that I had no network. Sure, I had friends and coworkers who I spoke to every now and then, but I had nothing formal in place to make sure that I did not lose touch with any of them. Since I listened to the cast, I have adopted Mark’s “Control/Shift – K” method and I now have a reoccurring appointment for everyone in my network. Keeping in touch with those I already know is easy, I find that it is the building my network past these core relationships is the tough part.
So here is where I need your help:
First, what basis do you use for contacting someone? Do you just say, “Hey, I thought I would just drop you a quick email and see how you are doing.”? That is the way I have been doing it but I am curious to see if that is what everyone else is doing.
Second, how do you add people that you don’t really know? For example, in the podcast Mark mentioned meeting someone from another department in a meeting and inviting him to lunch or coffee. Is that all there is to it? I mean, what reason do I give as to why we should meet? I feel that saying I want to get to know you a little better seems… well… cheesy. I feel like I need to present “what’s in it for them”, you know?
Finally, how do you do the same thing outside your current company? One of the things that has become extremely clear is that I have very few contacts outside my current company. That does not bode well if I leave (or have to leave). What do you say to those who you have met briefly? On what basis do you start a new relationship?
I am sorry if these questions seem sophomoric, but I have found that my network is a liability instead of an asset and I need to change that. Thanks in advance for any help or recommendations.