Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Don't Ever Forget To Thank Them

I recently received a great introduction from a good friend of mine to a friend and colleague of her's that she thought I would have a lot in common with. Turns out she was right. After having coffee with her friend we both walked away laughing at just how spot on she was to put us together. We both in short order thanked her for creating such a great Ripple for us both.

I am fortunate that these things happen to me all the time. It's the beauty of building a strong network of amazing people. Most amazing people surround themselves with other amazing people and if you play your cards right you may just be lucky enough they'll introduce you to a few of them along the way.

Recently I was visiting with someone that has recently gotten himself back into a profession where making good professional connections was important.  He was seeking my advice on how he could maximize his connecting efforts and was sharing some of what he'd done thus far.  He was lucky, right out of the gate, some of his former colleagues and close friends had agreed to open a few doors for him.  Introductions were being made, lunches were being scheduled and it appeared he was off to a fine start.  

As we continued to chat I asked him what he was doing to thank these fabulous people for their efforts on his behalf.  He just looked at me with a blank stare.  It was awkward.  He just sat there with this confused look on his face and continued to blink.  So after a few seconds of uneasiness, he finally muttered,"Um nothing."  The thought of going back to them to thank them, beyond perhaps the initial introductions, had never even crossed his mind.

I am quite certain that the look of surprise on my face confused the old boy and with little thought about it at the moment I let it it slip out, "What do you mean nothing?"  That was followed by more silence from his end of the table. "You didn't even follow up to thank them and tell them how these connections have worked out?" There was still no reply.  Had the simply gesture of a thank you slipped his mind?  Apparently it had and I was shocked.

Here's the thing, when someone makes a connection for you it's like they are giving you their personal son or daughter to date.  Sure that may be a bit dramatic but it's a good rule of thumb to go by.  Personal and professional networks take years to build and there is considerable value in them.  It's imperative that you show the person who's referring you the respect and appreciation they have coming to them.  After all it's their reputation they are placing on the line when they connect you with someone they think you need to know.  Be sure to take the time to follow up and let them know how things went and just how much you appreciate them and their effort on your behalf.

Seems like a logical thing to do but clearly some of us need a little reminder from time to time.  Clearly this poor fella did...to which I happily obliged.

Ripple On!!!

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