Thanksgiving is just around the corner. This is the time of the year that we give thanks for the good fortunes we have, our friends and family. The first Thanksgiving in America was held in the fall of 1621. The Pilgrims created a three-day feast to cerebrate a bountiful harvest. If you consider your business your harvest, you likely have plenty of people to thank for keeping it bountiful.
Now is the time to reflect on the year and to give thanks to your network. Here are some tips to help you determine who you should be reaching out to. When you reach out to each person in your network who has helped make 2013 successful, be sure to ask how you can help them.
Giving Thanks to Your Network before the Turkey
Stop and consider who has helped you grow your business this year? Did a friend introduce you to someone which led to a new client? Did you receive a referral that led to new work? Did an employee help you land a sale? Unplug from your computer and make a list - yes, with a pen and paper.
- Review your calendar and search for the meetings you had this year. Follow up with the interesting people you met. Take a moment to thank them again for their time.
- Did you attend conferences or events? Visit their respective web sites and Facebook pages. Review the list of attendees and sponsors. Who should you follow up with and thank for making the event so enjoyable?
- Search social media. Your best customers are the ones who leave you positive reviews and recommendations. Search your LinkedIn company page and profile, Facebook page, Amazon product page, and Twitter for positive mentions of you or your company. Using a free service like socialmention.com and mention.net can help.
- Thank mentors and advisors. If you are an entrepreneur, you likely had meetings this year with mentors or advisors. These are usually people who volunteer their time to help you with your business. Be sure to stop and give them thanks.
- Thank those you already thanked. Search your email sent folder or outbox for messages you sent that include the words "Thanks" or "Thank you". See what comes up. I expect you will be surprised by how many messages you will find.
- Family, of course. Yes, I saved the best until last. It takes plenty of love and understanding from your family when you have to work long hours and travel. They put up with your stress and craziness each day. Be sure to toast them over your turkey when you are enjoying your Thanksgiving meal together.
Remember networking is a two-way street. It is always best to find ways to help your network first before ever asking for anything in return. Think of ways you can offer to help someone when reaching out to say thank you.
This article, “Thank everyone in your network who helped during the year”, originally appeared in the Tennessean.