One of my favorite editors sends me handwritten notes. If there is a story he particularly likes, then I will get a stamped envelope a week or two after that publication hits the newsstands. It is short, sweet and surprising - even to this day.
I do my best to have the same dynamic with my network. I will touch base with colleagues I haven't talked to in a while. I'll shoot a random email to my former publishers just to see how they are doing. It doesn't take much work. But the results of it? Tremendous.
I was reminded all of this with Gary Vaynerchuk's DailyVee video, "This Is It." The 20-minute episode is a breathtaking look at a day in the entrepreneur's life, but the key is a really brief moment one minute into the show. Vaynerchuk is just doing a quick call to a client in his town car. He doesn't have any business; he's just touching base with him.
He then explains why.
"I don't understand why leaders don't understand that a 3 minute call can create so much upside for the individual on the other side of the call, you as a leader, and, most of all - my priority - the [company] at hand. People always say, 'It blows me away, Gary, how much time you have to engage with your fans on social.'; People always say, 'I can't believe you take those 5 minutes to say hello.' But a 3 minute call, 180 seconds, could be the difference between this individual being with us from 10 to 15 years... versus gone in 10 to 15 weeks!"
I couldn't agree more. There are amazing collaborators, leaders, and mentors who can't consistently communicate, so, over time, my relationships with them have deteriorated. Intentions aside, you can't build a good connection if you're the only one reaching out. At the same time, there are unlikely friends, contacts, and business partners whose relationships have been exponentially beneficial simply because they take the time to build our connections. We talk, not just when there is an 'ask,' but when we make time to learn about the other's needs.
The biggest mistake you can make isn't losing touch with a contact. Rather, it is remembering that contact only when you need them. Look at your network and see who you feel like you should reach out to.
Who deserves your 3 minutes today?