Employee Engagement

Dusting off old relationships

I had a client who spent over 20 years in the same industry in the same function. When we looked at his network together, it was nearly blank. I looked at him and asked WHERE the hundreds of people he’s worked with over the past 20+ years were?  He was ashamed to admit that he’d lost contact with most of them and didn’t feel that he could go back. To himself,  he was prepared to start the exhausting process of building a brand new network.  

It breaks my heart when I see this happen because it is so easily fixed. If this client’s situation sounds like yours, I want you to start thinking about this differently today.

Remember that almost no one is good at maintaining relationships

Email, texts, and phone calls go both ways and I’m guessing they haven’t called you either. We are all busy and, let’s face it, life gets in the way and people move on.

So, instead of thinking that it’s done and how awkward it’d be to reach out to someone from the past, I want you to change your thinking. Remember the great working relationship you once had or all of the good times you spent together. Realistically, if you called them out of the blue, it would probably be a nice surprise!

Be the conversation starter 

With this change in perspective, all of a sudden calling an old colleague is not so scary.

Now, once you’ve got your head in the right place, here are five tips to follow to successfully start those conversations again. Here’s what you want to do:

  1. Check them out on social media and get caught up on what they’ve been up to. 
  2. Go back into your memory and find all of the things you worked on together: the good, the bad and the ugly. 
  3. Document your networking plan for that person. If you don’t know how to document a networking plan, then go back to last week’s video and you’ll find how to do it. 
  4. Come up with a genuine, yet creative, way to reconnect with them. Don’t be afraid to own the fact that it has been a LONG time, start and work from there! 
  5. Remember to be genuine. They will remember the real you so make sure that’s who they see. 


I used to suck at this so badly! I would let relationships go and then realize how much I  needed a sale, job, or anything else that my old colleagues could potentially help with. Once I started to use these five steps, I was able to rekindle with most of my old network. 

However, the most important part is that these steps helped me never put myself in that position again. There are more tips that I want you to know for networking upkeep, but we’ll tackle those another time. 

If you are sitting on a gold mine of dormant relationships, I’m going to challenge you to do one thing: I want you to call one of them today using those five steps we talked about. If you need even more help getting the conversation started, head to our website for a FREE download of 35 Fool-Proof conversation starters. We want to help you revive old conversations, keep them going, and become a master at networking.  

I’m Tammy Alvarez and I’ll see you in the Career Winners Circle!