Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to Optimize Holiday Party Networking Contacts

Most holiday parties have come to a close and although you may
still have some opportunities at the upcoming New Year’s Eve parties, it is
time to plan how you can take full advantage of the new contacts you made
during holiday festivities. Congratulations to you for going out on a limb and
taking the initiative to make new networking connections at these events. However,
now you may be asking yourself what to do next. Here are some tips to help you
optimize these new relationships.

> Follow up with these new contacts as soon as possible.
If you have not yet touched base with your new contact, it is time to reach out
to them. The longer you wait, the more likely you will be forgotten in the
bustle of the holidays.

> Use the upcoming new year as an ice breaker. Send your
new contact a card, email, or voice message with wishes for a Happy New Year
and inquire about the remainder of their holiday since you last saw each other.

> When you make the initial contact, remind them where
and when you met and who introduced you. Use the topic of your conversation –
your shared interests or goals – as a reminder of your conversation. Remind
them of how you can be a resource for them and clearly express what you are looking
for from them as a networking contact.

> Search for the person on social networking sites such
as http://www.linkedin.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/. This is a way to
reconnect without asking for too much of their time.

> Don’t wear out your welcome before you make an honest
connection. Keep in mind that people are often just returning from work after
an extended absence and they may not be able to get back to you right away. Be
respectful of their time, their schedule, and their other commitments.

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