It’s easy to think that the hard part of networking is the event itself, and if we can navigate that successfully, we’ve done our jobs well and the work will come in. But a big part of successful relationship development is continuity, and that means following up AFTER an event to ensure that you don’t drop off the other person’s radar. Particularly at this time of year, it’s easy to become very busy and distracted (both you and your prospects!) and no longer be top of mind with someone that you really may want to be better connected to.

So what should you do after a networking event? FOLLOW UP!
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If you’re a regular Zen follower, you’ll know that this week’s topic from rainmaking trainer and coach, Jaimie Field, is a favorite of mine – using gratitude in business development. Read on to learn why!

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In one week’s time, it will be Thanksgiving in the United States.  And, you will probably be feasting with friends and family, watching football games (and probably arguing with them). I believe that many of us have forgotten that Thanksgiving is a time when we are supposed to be grateful for all that we have received during the past year. 
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A few years ago, I remember a woman I know posting on Twitter that her daughter had said “this is the best day of my life. We went to the park, we’re going to mcdonalds, I found a penny. The best day of my life.”

She was 5 at the time, but she had already been through a lot, dealing with a very scary brain tumor that year.  And that, plus a few big things going on in my own life and friends’ lives, have me thinking – the best days of my life really have been about the little things.

Sure, graduating from college was exciting, buying my first house was exciting (well, more nerve-wracking and expensive than exciting), but were they the “best” days of my life?

Nah.

Those have been about the little things – the first time each of my nieces said my name for the first time (or any time they say it, frankly).  Every time one of my dogs comes racing over to see me like I’m his favorite person in the world (I am). Slipping my hand into the hand of the person I love for the first time. Crossing the line of my first marathon (okay, that was kind of a big one). Really focusing to help a friend going through a tough time, and knowing that being there makes a difference. Laughing until I cry with women who really get me. Those are some of my best days.


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As I was scrolling through Instagram the other night, I came across a post from a former ILN lawyer (shoutout to Craig Levey) who announced that he’ll be running the Boston Marathon in 20 weeks. What’s more, he’s using those 20 weeks as an opportunity to spend a training session each week with “a local executive, entrepreneur, or Boston personality,” and sharing that on social media. This is something I just love, and it’s also something you can emulate, without having to run the Boston Marathon (though, if that’s your goal, more power to you!).

Let’s talk about why this works, and how you can do what Craig is doing. 
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While I’m out of the office today attending the Economist’s Annual General Counsel Conference in London, I’m bringing you another Rainmaking Recommendation from trainer and expert, Jaimie Field! I’m a big fan of Jaimie’s recommendations in this post, and use them myself – in fact, as a holdover from my days in high school (yes, that long ago), I still use a paper agenda to schedule my daily tasks, even breaking up long term projects so that I work on them a little bit every day to make progress. For me, it works really well to have a tangible list that I can cross things off of. I also create a monthly plan, which is tied into my overall operational plan for the ILN, which I review weekly to ensure that I’m maintaining continuity on my goals, and my organization’s goals.

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There is a “law”, really an old adage, you may have heard of called Parkinson’s Law.  This proverb says “work expands so as to fill the time allotted for its completion.”

What this means is that you will get the work done only as fast as needed to beat the deadline. In the case of procrastinators, if you only have a day till the deadline, then you will get the work done on that day – it may not be spectacular work, but it’s done. 
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Over the last few years, data has become more and more popular a subject, as we try to quantify everything to do with our businesses. “Please don’t make me try to quantify my relationships TOO!” I can hear you opining. But I promise, the goal is a worthwhile one.

What is always our goal when it comes to any business development or relationship development tactic? Maximizing the benefit and maximizing efficiency, right?
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In today’s rainmaking recommendation post, coach and trainer, Jaimie Field is talking about a huge pet peeve of mine – a lack of follow up, and the impact it can have on your business development efforts.

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Way back in April 2014, I came across some sales statistics which floored me.  In Rainmaking Recommendation #95, I wrote about Following Up for Success.  There was a meme that was floating around that looked like this:

Except, I recently found out that these statistics are false!  While I do not mind admitting when I am wrong for posting this meme (I should have done a bit more research), and apparently I am not the only one who has because that meme has been floating around for a number of years, I do think that the main idea behind it is an important concept. 
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Following on my recent post about the month of October, Jaimie Field is talking about the last twelve weeks of this year in her latest Rainmaking Recommendation. Also, I was able to negotiate a special rate for Zen readers on Jaimie’s upcoming roadmap class – see the details in her post below!

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Time is running out on this year.

In 12 short weeks, the earth will have completed its 365-day orbit around the sun once again.  Look back at the past 40 weeks at when this year started.  Did you have dreams you wanted to achieve? Did you have plans for their attainment? Did you even have goals for this year?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not achieved all of the goals I have wanted this year – YET! But I still have 12 weeks.
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We are already facing down the last three months of 2019, and for many of us, that leaves us wondering where the year has gone, and how we can possibly meet the goals we’ve set.

But rather than throwing out these last three months and deciding to start “fresh” in 2020, let’s kickstart our business development efforts over the next four weeks with some goals and deadlines, and see what progress we can make. 
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