Sunday, November 04, 2007

Useless Information?

The other day I was talking with a friend who is a master at networking. The conversation turned to data bases or really, the ability to use information.

I loved the concept that he presented.

When he gets a "lead," (he is in the construction world) he enters it into his system, even if he knows that his company would never want to do the work.

Why would he clutter his system with unusable information?

Well, he doesn't look at it as useless information. He looks at it as information he can feed to his referral sources.

And here's how he does it.

The information is entered into his system along with the date. When he knows that he is going to meet with one of his referral sources, he prints a list of all the leads he has realized since the last time they met. Simple, but mighty.

Of course, his list includes the prospects that are being actively being worked by his company. It also contains those that are not helpful to him, but may in fact be very interesting his friend. Of course, they have to strategize as to how they will help each other, but at least they have a platform to begin.

I love this technique because it is so simple. A lot of times I meet with people who ask for my time. Sometimes I don't even enter them into my Outlook. Now, I will, knowing that I could help someone else. Of course, I'll have to figure out how to sort my Outlook by date. (That may take a consultation with my son, Greg.)

What networking hint do you have that could be as easy as this?

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