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Ask The BOSS: Reconnect with Old Contacts

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Get ready to move up to that corner office or start your own enterprise. JETmag.com is partnering with award-winning entrepreneur and founder of The BOSS Network, Cameka Smith, to bring you “Ask The BOSS” every month. This feature will take your questions and offer you career and entrepreneurial advice.  You can submit your own question via digitalpitches@ebony.com with the subject line: “Ask the Boss.”  Don’t worry, we’ll keep your name and identity confidential. First up: a question from a reader we will call “Need to Reconnect”

“I am an entertainment professional and looking to build my network and reconnect with old business contacts for some new leads. How do I start a conversation after a long period of time without seeming disingenuous?”

Dear “Need to Reconnect”:

Great question! Building relationships is key to success and having a strong network is invaluable. Many people get overwhelmed at the thought of having to build a network and meet new people. But starting with people you know can put you ahead of the game. These are people who have history with you from work, church, school or even a chance encounter.

When significant time has lapsed and you need to reconnect with someone the best way to do so is to remind them of how you first met. I would suggest drafting an email and avoid handling this via social media to connect as the latter can seem unprofessional. Try to recall your last interaction so you can reference it in the email.  Important: Don’t be over-friendly or familiar as you want them to take your request seriously.

If you have heard some great news about them over the last year please include.  For example, they received a raise or moved to a new city. Then, simply request to catch up  via telephone as most people are too busy for lunch. But if you do end up with  a face-to-face meet up, be certain you offer to treat them to coffee or tea.

BOSS on the move,

Cameka

Cameka 2013 HS

Do you have a question for Cameka? Submit it to us via digitalpitches@ebony.com with the subject line: “Ask the Boss.”  You can also learn more about our “Ask The BOSS” Business Expert via:

Twitter: @iamCameka

Website: The BOSS Network

Facebook: Like The BOSS Page!

You can also subscribe to the BOSS email list here!