This item is used with permission from the newsletter of Rick Frishman, a publishing guru. Though he's speaking here of contacts within the media industry, it struck me as equally relevant to any kind of marketing. (Particularly as it echoes what I preach in the books about follow-up, thank-you contacts, and other kinds of post-sale customer care.)
Here's Rick on turning contacts into partners:"After you've made an interesting new contact that you would like to know better...how do you capitalize on that contact and make that person a member of your network? The answer is by following up. Most adults find it hard to follow up. Some are shy, are afraid to be a nuisance, or appear to be groveling. They see networking as selling and although all of us sell something, they don't want to be perceived as salespersons. Following up promptly isn't just good business, it's smart business. The big surprise is that following up can be fun and it can produce rewards beyond your expectations.
"Create a System: First of all, you really must save business cards, contact information and other contact literature. Treat them like receipts you might need for an IRS audit. Then buy or create a system to prioritize and file contact information.
"Learning to Prioritize: Ideally, it's best to enter contact information in your files as close to the initial meeting as possible. Then communicate with your contact within two or three days to follow up. If you have collected a bunch of business cards, prioritize them to determine whom you want to call first. Move first to communicate with:
"1. Those you promised to call or e-mail.
"2. Contacts who could be important to you.
"Making Your Move: Send a handwritten note or an e-mail including where you met, and a reference that will make the connection closer and more personal. Attach articles, cartoons or information that might interest your contact. Make sure what you send is relevant; otherwise you'll be sending irritating spam.
"Always Say "Thanks": Whenever someone introduces you, recommends you, endorses you, speaks well of you, or helps you in any way, quickly and clearly express your gratitude. People remember your gratitude; it makes them feel happy that they helped you. The best way is by writing a handwritten note. Phone calls can also be effective and personal. E-mail is les personal than notes and phone calls, but is quick. Remember, the method you choose is secondary to saying thank you promptly."
Me again. Rick's newsletter isn't all work; there's some fun stuff, too. Like this:
•Ten percent of the Russian government's income comes from the sale of vodka.
•On average, 100 people choke to death on ball-point pens every year.
•Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.
•In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch mice without a hunting license.
•Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.
•The world's termites outweigh the world's humans 10 to 1.
•The 3 most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.
•In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined.
•"Minding your p's and q's" comes from early typesetting. The letters are in reverse making it
very easy to confuse the two.
•Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their
ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle," is the phrase inspired by this practice.
Reprinted from "Rick Frishman's Author 101 Newsletter"
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