When was the last time you contacted a colleague and let them know how well a connection they made for you went?

In a business environment so focused on the transactional aspect of networking, it’s easy to forget to nurture all of the relationships that produced the end result. If this sounds familiar, you have an opportunity to refocus your networking efforts on building these bridges to create a solid foundation for success. 

Gratitude networking is the art of paying it backwards to those who took the time to make introductions.

People who are gracious with their network do it because they truly care about you. When we come back to them and tell them the connection was valuable and how it was valuable, you solidify a trusting relationship for which they will remember you. When we forget these people in the process of gaining new business, we miss the opportunity for repeat referrals and burn bridges without realizing it.

I must admit, I did not realize how valuable networking was until the business development pipeline was drying up. What happened next as I navigated the labyrinth of networking organizations taught me a few lessons I want to share with you.

The lost art of the Thank You note

Remember to contact the person who referred you and share why the connection was (or was not) valuable. After I thanked a very gracious podcast host for their time to refer me to another host, the gift just kept giving. I must thank some of my best experts on The Drop In CEO podcast who have come from an abundance of referrals thereafter. Those guests soon became amazing referral partners and also reciprocated for an appearance on their podcast. Taking one minute of time to express gratitude has paid dividends in building brand equity and a trusting relationship. 

Write a review or recognize a colleague on social media

Content creators create for the love of creating. They don’t seek accolades, but when they receive them, it feeds their soul to continue the work. When we take the time to share with the world how they make you feel or consume their content, we serve humanity. Even more interesting is the side effect of recognizing our network is the impact on people that are watching you. You build trust with those you don’t even know yet because they see you expressing gratitude to your network. This increases the likelihood that they will engage with you in the future.

This week, I did a social media post recognizing someone’s book launch and podcast appearance on my show. That person’s network then generously downloaded my podcast and another reached out to me to be on the show. A five-minute social media post led to a bump in my network. 

Pick up the phone and tell someone how much you appreciate their support

As email and text convey information and emojis add an emotional dimension to communication, nothing replaces the joy of receiving a phone call and hearing the tone of your voice. Every time I have called someone and with my voice conveyed information, emotion and energy, I have 100% of the time received a response. This is especially important as it relates to completing a transaction. Every person that has been on my podcast has received a voice message or call from me expressing gratitude. Each and every time, they have come back with a thank you for my message. When we humanize our gratitude we leave a lasting impression. Just this month while vacationing in Florida, a past podcast guest referred me to a client to help solve a crisis. I later thanked the person who referred me and said I was always top of mind. 

As we move into the Thanksgiving Season where we express our gratitude for those in our immediate family and community, pause and reflect about who else you should reach out to. Don’t worry if too much time has passed. An expression of gratitude knows no boundaries. Make a list and when you return from your Thanksgiving holiday, remember to give thanks to those who want to see you succeed. 

If this makes sense, but you’d like to learn more about applying these principles to your situation, you can email medirect message me on linkedin or simply grab a few minutes on my calendar.  

I find through casual conversation leveraging The CEOs Compass often has all the answers for you to get back on track. 

The CEO’s Compass: Your Guide to Get Back on Track – If you’re that leader who feels in their gut something is off track, this could be the resource for you.

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Good Reads

The Game Changer’s Guide to Radical Success Paperback by Tevis Trower and an upcoming podcast guest on The Drop In CEO Podcast was an amazing resource for me.  Sometimes when we’re already successful, we can’t see what the next leap is for us. We stay in the present of what we’re good at, and with the insights from this book, you clear your mind to find what is your true calling and make a radical change towards success. 

Good Music

Loyalty Remains by Veigar Margeirsson As I finish my blog post while my copy editor patiently awaits to post this just before the thanksgiving holiday, I skurry to find an inspirational piece that conveys how I feel right now. While I’ve had some ups and downs this month emotionally, this piece renews hope that the work we’ve done together will come to fruition in 2022 and impact more people than I can imagine. Take a moment to listen and be emotionally uplifted by the end. 

Good Advice

My friend Clay Hicks podcast aired last week and as I think of our gratitude theme for this week, his quote was very appropriate. 

“We’re here to help each other right now. This is our moment. Let’s do that.”

–Clay Hicks

Listen and subscribe now: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/clay-hicks-finding-champions-of-your-brand/id1498953914?i=1000542447218