The Top Four Ways People Reconnect, and the One That Works Best
As CEO of Nudge, I have been spending a lot of time reaching out and reconnecting to my network. Investors, fellow execs, friends, potential customers and analysts; I have a reason to get back in touch with all of them. What I learned is that there are four ways to do this, and one that works best.
“Let’s Get Caught-Up”
Hey we have all done this. There is something we need, and someone who can help us with that need, so we ask for one of the three C’s: call, coffee, cocktails. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but for it to work well you need to have something for them. Maybe you are both CEOs of a new startup and want to talk about best practices in fundraising, or maybe you just met someone who can help them with their business.
David Meerman Scott wrote a great blog post on this type of Nudge he calls “catching up or touching base“. In his post, he says that if you need something, perhaps the approach of just asking directly will get you what you need, more than asking to “catch-up”.
Takeaway: if you don’t truly want to get “caught-up”, maybe just asking for what you need, is the best way to get what you need.
Maybe you bump into them at the gym, maybe you find out your son is in the same soccer league – whatever the coincidence that has put someone in your network to the top of the priority list for a reconnect, you decide it’s time to act. The good part about this type of reconnect, is that there is a shared interest that is current to discuss. And after you discuss that shared interest – why not move on to other topics that can help them or help you. The bad part of coincidences, is that they are just that…coincidences, and out of your control
Takeaway: when a coincidence occurs with someone that would be good to reconnect with, take advantage of it. They don’t happen often.
“The Social Nudge”
Another great way to start a reconnection, is to start small. Social media helps, because you can take much smaller steps towards reconnecting, and get familiar with your contact while doing it. Maybe you retweet one of their tweets, or like one of their posts in Facebook or Linkedin.
It is also good to take this approach with people who are social in your network, as there is often an expectation that you know more about them, since they have that social profile and presence.
Takeaway: sometimes starting small with social gestures, is a great way to reconnect with your weakest ties, and learn more about them at the same time.
“Wow, I have to send that to…”
My favorite, and the way I have found works best when reconnecting, is when I am doing my daily read of business content, I see an article and immediately feel there is one person in my network who should read this. It could be we had last talked about this very topic, or from my past relationship I know the core message of this article is important to them. But it is a clear match in my mind.
Why I feel this type of Nudge is the best, is that it is purely about adding value. I wasn’t thinking of trying to reconnect, but because I feel this piece of content is so aligned to that person, I am going to make the effort now to do so. Also it shows that you remember something important to them.
Takeaway: if you read or see something that immediately brings someone to mind, take a bit of time and send it along. They will always appreciate it, and in the end help you keep your connection strong.
What do you think? Have I missed any?