In the Webinar I hosted a few weeks ago, I was asked what the best way to reconnect with an old contact was. I thought that was a wonderful question.
An old contact or cold relationship, could be a relationship with someone where one, or both of you, have lagged in communication. This doesn’t mean you don’t value the relationship but you may have not had the time and just fallen out of touch.
The truth is it’s easy to fall out of touch with people, especially if you’re running a business. I, myself, struggle with keeping in touch with those closest to me at times as well. But if you’re interested in breathing some new life into old relationships, I have good news for you…
The holidays are the best time of year to reconnect with old contacts – both professionally and personally.
When reconnecting with professional contacts, there’s generally an objective for the relationship. Whether they are a valuable part of your network, a past vendor or a future supplier, there’s likely a goal for the relationship that can benefit both parties. However, you don’t want to rekindle the relationship by asking for something. You also don’t want to be aggressive in trying to force something that may not be there anymore.
You want to start building a foundation for the relationship again. You want to reach out in a way that is lighthearted and personalized to that particular person. Maybe you know who their favourite sports team is or their favourite show on TV. The goal is to find a piece of personal information that you discussed in the past to spark new dialogue.
With personal contacts, the objective of the relationship may be less clear. Maybe you miss an old friend. Maybe you’re making a New Year’s resolution about keeping in better contact with distant family members. Maybe there’s a friend from university who could potentially become a professional contact. In this situation, it’s great to highlight a connection from the past while looking to the future of the relationship.
The Power of a Handwritten Card
While there are many ways to reconnect with old contacts, writing cards is one of my favourites. It’s personal. And more importantly, it’s good business. People will appreciate the effort made to write a personalized note and send the card in the mail. In terms of ways to rekindle lagging relationships, this one doesn't take too long especially when considering the impact it can have.
So, if you’re a new business and trying to build your network. An established business who can’t afford Christmas gifts for partners but would like to show their appreciation. An individual looking to change careers. Or someone just reconnecting with family and friends around the holidays, then sending some cards should be on your Christmas to-do list.
Everyone enjoys a little holiday cheer this time of year.