If you take the time to nurture your contacts good things can happen. They potentially will give you referrals and ultimately become your clients.

In order to achieve this you need to:

  • Meet with them
  • Make introductions for them
  • Give them useful ideas
  • Send them information.

What you can achieve in return:

  • They will start to like and trust you
  • Consider you the expert in your field
  • Remember you when opportunities arise

But each person requires the right touch. “Drown” them with too much attention (by being a pest) and they will disappear. “Starve” them with too little attention, and they’ll forget about you.

Now it the time to make a list:

Start by prioritizing your contacts. Rank them Hot, Warm or Cold by the strength of your connection . Go through your database and review each contact to determine the appropriate level.

  • How well do you know him or her?
  • How often do you meet/speak?
  • How often do you refer one another
  • How helpful could he/she be for your business?

Do you have the right touch?

Now that you’ve prioritized your contacts, determine the right touch for each level. First, think about your goals:

  • “Hot” Contacts – Get regular referrals and advice
  • “Warm” Contacts – Stay visible and get periodic referrals
  • “Cold” Contacts – Stay visible and prompt them to contact you

To nurture your “Hot” contacts, you need to be in touch regularly (at least monthly) with referrals and ideas for them. Connect with your “Warm” contacts at least quarterly at networking meetings, one-on-one, or via the phone. Stay in touch with your “Cold” contacts with your newsletter.

Ways to care and feed you contacts with knowledge:

Meet One-On-One – This is a great (but very time-consuming) way to connect with your “Hot” contacts and selected “Warm” contacts
Meet at Events –This is an efficient way to stay in touch with all your contacts.
Make Introductions – This may be the most powerful tool in your networking opportunities.
Pick up the Phone-Surprise a contact with a phone call. This can have real impact without consuming a lot of time.
Send Articles & Event Notices – Forward articles and notices regularly. You can showcase your expertise and stay visible.
Send a Newsletter – A monthly newsletter is a great way to reach all your contacts.

As you can see with little effort you have the ability to maintain strong relationships with all your contacts and all it takes is a little time to ensure you understand each individual’s needs.

Tara Bradbury