Leveraging your network to advance your career or grow your business can seem transactional. Say you have a contact that you’ve spoken to in the past and you’d like to pick their brain again, how would you reach out to them in a way that seems more personal?
Doug Lester, a career strategist and executive coach for MBA students and alumni at a top business school and executives at Fortune 100 companies, has returned in a second Covve masterclass to highlight the impact of taking good notes about your contacts, and how those notes can help turn a potentially awkward conversation into a friendlier, warmer catch-up with a personal connection.
In this video, Doug describes an anecdotal experience of reconnecting with someone he had already spoken with before to ask them for help, again. It could have been awkward and cold, but it ended up being the opposite.
Spoiler alert: The trick is listening carefully for personal details about a networking contact and capturing that information in your notes so you can recall that information in future conversations.
In business, we tend to focus on information that seems directly related to the task at hand. But when we do that, it’s easy to neglect personal details about our contacts that can help change the tone of future conversations for the better. The notes about personal details you gather today may not help you immediately, but recalling them in a few months’ time can prove to be invaluable when you reach out to a networking contact a second, third or even a fourth time.
In Doug’s story, he shares how by recalling something his networking contact had mentioned in a previous conversation, he was able to make his contact feel heard and valued as a person. As a result, what could have been a fairly; transactional and cold conversation ended up being more personal and warm; And Doug’s contact was more open to listening to him and helping him by sharing her knowledge and advice.
To keep track of notes that help facilitate relationship building while networking, Doug has abandoned post-it notes and paper and prefers to use Covve, a personal CRM. Covve’s note-taking features help him keep key information about the contacts in his network organized and easy to reference when he reconnects.