1.) Job Change Alerts
Job Change Alerts sends you a daily e-mail listing updates your LinkedIn connections have made to their profiles. It makes it easy to stay on top of your network and give them personalized attention. Someone changing jobs is a great reason to send an e-mail and catch up.
Followup.cc is a reminder service for your e-mail. When you send an e-mail to [anydateortime]@followup.cc, the thread will return to your inbox as indicated. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org will return the thread in 1 week. October31@followup.cc will return the e-mail on October 31st.
Applying the tool to managing relationships…when a thread with an important contact comes to an end, I forward it to 1month at followup.cc to get a reminder to re-connect with the person in a month if I haven’t already. There’s less of a need to check a CRM or spreadsheet (see below) – I just get it as a reminder in my inbox.
3.) Google Spreadsheet
I keep a Google Spreadsheet listing everyone in my network that I want to stay in touch with in any way. Columns include: name, company, industry, role, what they’re looking for, a blurb about them, and date of last contact.
I regularly check the spreadsheet to see who I need to catch up with. When I meet someone in, say, healthcare, I can search my spreadsheet for other people in healthcare that they should connect with. Having a blurb about the person makes it easy for me to broker the e-mail intro.
A spreadsheet plus followup.cc delivers at least 90% of the value of any fancy CRM.
Scheduling meetings and events between busy people is a huge pain. It usually requires several e-mails back and fourth discussing potential times and locations. Doodle radically simplifies the process for all parties by displaying your busy and available times on a calendar.
It can put a burden on the person your scheduling with and be perceived as impersonal to just say “here’s my calendar, pick whatever time is best for you,” so I’ll usually suggest a few times and offer my calendar if they want to find a time that’s better.
Here’s my profile just in case you want to schedule a meeting with me 🙂 http://doodle.com/mfishbein (Note: using this for social purposes is often perceived as obnoxious 🙂
Newsle sends you an e-mail anytime any of your LinkedIn connections are in the press. Like Job Change Alerts, this helps you stay on top of what people are up to and gives you a great opportunity to reach out with a nice message.
As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s very important to prepare for meetings by learning more about everyone you’re meeting with. Prepwork sends you an e-mail in the morning with publicly available information on anyone who’s on your calendar that day. You can also forward any e-mail to email@example.com to get summaries of everyone on the thread.
To learn more about networking, check out my video course, How to Build an Awesome Professional Network.