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Networking

On meeting new people, following up, and being teachable

Here’s a powerful networking truth: everyone you ever meet matters.

Let me elaborate. No matter when someone crosses your path, you never know when they might come back around.

With my own projects, I’ve found myself reaching out to people I met when I first started blogging (summer of 2012). Because I make a point to leave the conversation on positive terms, the door is always cracked open.

That’s why, for starters, you shouldn’t delete your Facebook friends. We bump back into each other in the strangest of ways; often, it’s situations we could never predict.

Build a wide network, never burn bridges and remember each person comes into your life for a distinct reason. Everyone matters.

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Can we talk for second about a two-word phrase that so often dictates how far we go in our careers?

Here it is: follow up.

There’s a saying in advertising that people need to see/hear your message seven times before they will act on it. If you think of yourself as a product someone should buy or invest in (which you are), then it means you need to follow up multiple times before the person will take you seriously.

What’s “multiple”? Whatever it takes. Five phone calls, 12 emails, three meetings, 17 texts. Whatever. It. Takes.

Then one day, the person will say “I can’t imagine my life without [whatever you had to offer].” Thank goodness you stayed in pursuit.

It’s easy to set an idea in motion. Much harder to see it through.

May all your follow-ups lead somewhere great.

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One final thought …

Someone out there has the knowledge you need. Time and again, I put my faith in people who have the experience and success in the areas where I want to be.

It’s comforting to know that, no matter what you want to accomplish in your career, there are people with the blueprint and the answers. Someone else has gone down the road before, and the advice will save you countless hours in the wrong direction.

Which person in your field has the “knowledge you need”? Search around LinkedIn, Twitter or the web. Locate the person and then begin to follow what he/she has to say.

Be teachable — it’s the quickest way to grow as a professional.

This article first appeared on Dannyhrubin.com.

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Danny Rubin is an award-winning author and speaker on business communication skills. His book, Wait, How Do I Write This Email?, is a collection of 100+ templates for networking, the job search and LinkedIn. Visit DannyHRubin.com to read more of his blog posts and connect with him on Twitter.