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Holiday Networking Tips

Use your holiday merry making as an opportunity to connect with people that can help make you a success. These networking strategies should help get you started.

  1. Pre-Party: The idea here is that if someone else is throwing a great party next Saturday, use the evening's festive mood to your advantage! Call five people you know are going to the party and either invite them to meet at your place to go over together or have them meet you for a drink on the way over. Choose your mates wisely, and use this pre-party get-together to ensure you connect with some of your top targets for the night instead of running the risk of not getting to them at the crowded main event.

  2. In the season of giving, ask! It is the season of giving, so ask for the job (or client, or contract) that you want. Everyone seems to be more generous around the holidays, so take advantage of that spirit. Let everyone know what you, or your business, will be up to in the upcoming year. Then, it's very simple, ask for the referrals!

  3. Have fun! I think a willingness to have fun can be everyone's secret weapon during the holiday season. Focus on how approachable you'll seem to everyone who sees you having a good time.

  4. Activate your family connections You're bound to see a lot of your family in the coming month, so it's no time to take for granted the people who like you, care about you, and will go to great lengths to help you succeed. First, make sure you're prepared to help them help you. Before you see them, schedule some time to reflect upon the one passion that deeply fuels you, your goals for the next 90 days, and the kind of people you need to connect with to be successful. Then put your desires out there to your family. After all your efforts to build relationships in the business sphere, you might be shocked by what turns up in your own backyard. Who knows whom your brother-in-law knows until you give him a chance to activate his network for you.

  5. If this season's not in the cards, choose another With all the parties to attend, end-of-year deadlines to meet, and the rush to gather gifts for everyone on their lists, people absolutely get lost in the clutter of the holiday season. It's no surprise that holiday cards get lost, too, if only in the piles of red and green envelopes everyone receives this time of year. That's why years ago I chose to stop sending out holiday cards, for these holidays at least. I've made it a habit to get in touch with people on their birthdays or anniversaries because people are much more impressed by what others do for them on their very own "special days." However, it's quite a lot of work to do this year-round. So I'll propose an alternative: Skip the cards this holiday season and pick another holiday in the upcoming year for sending celebratory mail. I have friends who send me an annual Halloween card, and since it's an uncommon practice, the gesture really stands out. Thanksgiving's probably not a bad choice, either, just to reach out and say how thankful you are for them and your relationship. There are many more fine days to reach out to your friends, though. Pick the one that works for you. In your office, give what's really important This year, try handwriting simple, heartfelt notes to your employees or colleagues as thanks for contributing to the success of your organization or as compliments on the special talents they possess. Your sincere thoughts will be more important and valuable to them.

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