The essence of networking is being able to relate to other people, empathize with them, and have a giving nature. If you can make other people feel good about what you do and say, that feeds into every networking approach that I can think of. Keep this in mind when you practice the little things all day, every day.
Here are two day-to-day practices that may seem like small details — you don’t need any science, test tubes, or element charts — but they are important to creating and maintaining a strong networking attitude.
1. Update your voicemail greeting daily
People will notice that you change your voicemail daily and include updates on your whereabouts. They will compliment you and feel that you care about the impression that you make on callers every day.
Let people know if you’ll be out of the office and when you will return. It shows callers that you have a fresh perspective every day and are giving them up-to-date information. It shows that their call really is important to you. I know people who add quotes and anecdotes; I just keep mine short and sweet, but current.
Just leave a quick voicemail greeting to let people know that you’ll be in the office in the afternoon, but that you’ll be traveling on business after that. Ask them to leave a message, and say that you’ll return their call as quickly as possible. Then do it!
Often enough, when I call someone and listen to their voicemail greeting, it says, “Please leave a message and I’ll call you at my earliest convenience.” That doesn’t leave me with the best impression. It implies that you’ll return my call when you get around to it. Is that really good enough?
2. Return all messages within 24 hours or the next business day