In our business and personal lives we meet people.  We come in contact with people because we are out there in the community.  Often, we have a specific reason to connect; job interview, sales encounter, catching someone doing something right….it all centers around people connecting with other people. So, what is the next step?  What happens next?

This week, I had the chance to speak to 40 High School students who are part of an Academic Excellence group.  They at home schooled, very bright, and meet monthly to connect and to invite guest speakers who can help them as they transition into college and beyond. John Fields is this year’s president and he wanted me to speak on Leadership, Networking, and Interview Preparation.  Yes, it was a tall order.

Since these High School students knew the value of preparation, I focused on Connection – What Happens Next.  I gave them ideas on building their “Rolodex” and had to first define what a Rolodex was!  I said “it does not matter who you know, it matters who KNOWS YOU.”  I stressed the importance of sending Thank You notes, creating their personal Blog/Newsletter, and to begin catching people doing something right.  The Q&A portion was energetic as the students peppered me with questions and I responded with direct application.  I stressed the “What Happens Next” element.

So, if your business, personal and professional life…WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The old cliché “the fortune is in the follow-up” is so true; now more than ever since we seem to have forgotten the elements of connection.

Here are 3 recommendations you can apply immediately regarding what happens next :

  1. Build Your Rolodex – Keep  track of people you meet.  Collect their business cards, record their birthdays, and place them in some tracking software.  Sendoutcards, Outlook, Cardscan, ACT are several options
  2. Write That Note – After the interview, write the note.  After meeting someone, write that note.  When you know someone at work is celebrating, struggling, or in between, write that note. When you spouse, child, parent, or extended family has not heard from you – write that note. When you get a prompting to act – write that note!
  3. Record The Event – In Sales, many professionals write notes regarding their meetings.  In business, we take notes at meetings, we take pictures, write in journals….we take action.  I am encouraging you to do the very same.  Yes, it might be difficult at first, most things of value are.  Do it anyway, make it a habit.

Why only 3?  My goal is that you would take action and the more options the harder it is to take action. I’ve been working these three for 20+ years and yes, it still takes some time and it is worth it.

May you have the success I have had.  How can I help you?  Let me know.