Getting back in touch with people and old colleagues is something that many of us find difficult. Regardless of whether your motive is driven by a commercial need or you are just curious, it doesn’t make it any easier to get back in touch. However, for most of us, there is a huge amount of benefit of getting back in touch with our university friends and people we trained with. Why? These people are probably now in a position of influence. Who better to help them, than their old drinking buddy?
This article gives you some tips on how to successfully get back in touch with people you have lost touch with.
1. Just do it
That’s right. Just do it. After all, what’s the worse that can happen? They don’t return your call? This is a scenario where it is nothing ventured, nothing gained.
2. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to find people who you used to work with or go to school with. (That’s if you can remember their full name!) You will find that most professionals will maintain some kind of presence on LinkedIn. Your best bet, after checking their profile, is to send them a request to connect, with something similar to this:
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you but I came across your LinkedIn profile. It was a real blast from the past. Is it really x years since we were at xxx together? It would be lovely to catch up over a drink to find out how you are doing. Let me know…”
3. Work out your reasons for getting back in touch
Now your reasons for getting back in touch could be many and varied. However, the more aware of your motivation for getting back in touch, the more likely it will happen. If you do want something from them, then hold off with your requests until you have re-established the relationship on a stronger footing.
To help you work out your reasons for getting in touch, we recommend that you download from our free Career Kitbag, your free guide to building your personal networking strategy. [/box]
4. Find them on Facebook
Very often the person you want to get back in touch with will be in contact with some mutual contacts – potentially on Facebook. You may find that a search on Facebook is the quickest way to find an old friend or colleague.
5. Keep the first contact very ‘light’
When you are re-establishing contact, keep it very light touch. Don’t instantly assume that the other person will become your best buddy overnight again. Ideally the tone of your first communication – whether by email or social media, ideally needs to be warm, open and friendly. Can you recall any shared experiences to use on your first communication, particularly if they were of very happy or successful times?
6. Pique their curiosity
Your aim is to quickly get the communication flowing between the two of you. Therefore, don’t write war and peace with this first communication. As I said before, keep it light, and offer an incentive to have a phone call. For example:
“It would be great to have a phone call to properly update each other on what’s happened since we last talked! You may be surprised at some of what I have been up to”
How do you get back in touch with old colleagues?
Written by Heather Townsend. I help professionals become the ‘Go To Expert’. I am the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life‘ and the author of the award-winning and bestselling book on Networking, ‘The FT Guide To Business Networking‘.
To find out whether I can help you, have a look at “our services”