Tips for Keeping the Momentum Going After Making a Business Connection

Shaun H. Ruff

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

Networking is a major way to forge new connections and find potential business opportunities when you’re an entrepreneur. But once you’ve made an initial connection, keeping the momentum going with that contact afterward — whether with other professionals or brands — can be tricky as you both return to your hectic daily lives.

According to the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council, however, maintaining good business relationships doesn’t have to be challenging or take up a lot of time — it’s all about doing it the right way. Below, they list a few of their top tips for keeping the networking momentum going and why they work so well.

Reconnect Within 24 Hours

Reconnecting within 24 hours is crucial in getting that tiny snowball to begin to roll. With today’s technology, it is easy to keep up with new and old connections and reinstate past network relationships. Using social media, you can keep your name in the front of their mind. Reach out even when you do not need any other business. Just check in — This always generates business! – Thomas Bresadola, Simplified Entertainment

Become a Trusted Resource

Let people know you think about them and become a trusted source of good stuff. I often send contacts a link to an article or video that they might enjoy or find useful, or I connect them with other professionals. – Jahan Marcu, Marcu & Arora

Engage on Social Media

My one tip would be to keep in touch via social channels. A good way would be to comment on their posts and congratulate them on their achievements. Also, if they do need help in building other connections, make an effort to introduce them to the right people. This way, they know that you aren’t only keeping in touch with them for your gains and are genuinely making an effort to know them better. – Victoria Kennedy, Marisa Johnson

Offer Value First

Be genuine and offer value before asking for anything! When people see that you’re trying to help them for the sake of helping, they open up and it allows for a much longer term relationship to develop. – Russel Wilenkin, Old Pal

Connect on LinkedIn

The first thing I would do is connect on LinkedIn with them and do a little research. It will give you more information and you get to see other connections that could be useful, here or in another engagement. – Michael Polk,

The Rolling Stone Culture Council is an invitation-only community for Influencers, Innovators and Creatives. Do I qualify?

Defer to Their Expertise

Few things are more flattering than having a professional seek you out for your advice or opinion. It’s a huge indicator of trust. If you reach out to that marketer, lawyer or analyst you met at a conference or baseball game about their thoughts on an issue, you’re likely to build their trust while also building rapport with a new contact. – Tyler Gallagher, Team 33

Find Ways to Collaborate

Consider opportunities to collaborate and build on the connection. Introduce new connections to your network to further their reach. – Angela Pih, Lucid Green

Send Direct Mail

While most of our agency’s marketing happens digitally, we are still huge proponents of strategic direct mail, recognizing that people still love receiving mail that’s actually fun. And if we can be some of the partners engaging our friends with packages they really enjoy opening, something that adds value to their day, then we will remain top of mind when relevant opportunities arise. – Ricardo Baca, Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency

End Every Conversation With a Next Step

Always end the conversation with a next step. This sets an expectation of momentum in a professional relationship. If you struggle to find a tangible next step, then perhaps you shut that network channel down and save yourself and the other person from wasting time on a channel to nowhere. – Erik Oberholtzer, Cohere

Schedule Monthly Meetups

The best way for entrepreneurs to grow their professional relationships after connecting is to schedule monthly virtual or in-person meetups. It can also be as simple as connecting on social media and engaging with each other to provide insight and support each other’s businesses. – Eric Mitchell, LifeFlip Media

Be Genuine and Unobtrusive

The best maintenance of a contact is that maintenance which does not feel like special maintenance. People sense when you do something insincere or for a selfish purpose. First of all, be valuable and unobtrusive to them. Do not stalk them on all social networks and like all their tweets or posts on LinkedIn. – Igor Dunaevsky, AskGrowers

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