Mackay Maxim: Two things people never forget; those who were caring to them when they were at a low point, and those who weren’t. Elevators go up and down.
There will be people in your network that you won’t see even once a year. They may live in another city, another state, or even another country. During your travels, you’ll likely cross paths with people from your network, and you should make the most of these opportunities!
Keep Track of Your Network Locations
You should always keep track of where people in your network are located. Make sure to update your records and make sure your list includes contact data and geographic location. People move, but holiday cards, newsletters, and social media behavior should inform you of any changes.
Research Before Your Trip
Before you head out on your trip, do a bit of research. If you have connections from the area you’ll be traveling, ask them about the best places to eat and what local attractions you should see. If they still live in the area, invite them along on one of these excursions. In addition to conducting research on where you are going, identify who you will contact for a meeting.
See what your contacts have been up to recently – any major life changes, industry events, company news offer great insight. When you sit down with them during your trip, you’ll have a plethora of information to talk to them about. Not only does this help with any potential communication or negotiation, it will ensure they feel cared for – and they will likely respond in kind.
Schedule Appropriate Meetings
Once you’ve identified who you want to reach out to and a few potential meeting spots, make contact. Tell them you’ll be in the area for a certain period of time and ask them if they’d like to meet for coffee or a meal to catch up. Present them with a few local favorites as options to meet, or, better yet, ask them to suggest their favorite place in town. Make sure to set up a meeting at a time and place that works best for you and your connection.
Bring Back Souvenirs
Some of your local connections may be transplants from out of town as well. If you’re traveling to their hometowns or somewhere they have a connection to, bring back a local souvenir. I’m not talking about cheesy gift shop knick-knacks – grab something meaningful. Pick up a copy of the local paper, grab a menu from that restaurant they recommended, or something else that reminds you of home. It’s a token of friendship more than keepsake – but it will be more appreciated than a “all I got was a lousy t-shirt” type of souvenir.
Travel is hectic and showing a network connection that you care enough to think of them during your travels speaks volumes. Always take advantage of your layovers – you never know where they might lead you!
Paige Soucie is the Director of Community Development for Harvey Mackay Academy. She loves to travel, run, cook and spend time with her friends and family.
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