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How to build a great contacts list

Want to be a ‘super networker’? First you need a great list of contacts. Here are five simple steps to establishing a strong network.

I never ride in a taxi or Uber without asking the driver who they are voting for, where they shop and why, and their opinion on issues.

  1. Venture outside your postcodeHolly Kramer, who is on the boards of AMP Limited, Woolworths, Nine Entertainment Co and Australia Post, keeps a list of contacts in each city. When she travels, she tries to find time to have coffee to maintain friendships.
  2. Aim for diversity. If your contact list is unbalanced in terms of gender or has gaps, make a conscious effort to address the issue.
  3. Everything is an opportunity. “I never ride in a taxi or Uber without asking the driver who they are voting for and where they shop and why, and their opinion on issues,” says Kramer. AIM chief executive David Pich is another fan of using Uber. The drivers are fascinating, he says. “They’ve typically done interesting stuff and are driving for Uber for lots of different reasons.”
  4. Keep it tight. Practice your “elevator pitch” and make sure you can get your message across in 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Be sensitive. Before you meet with a contact, find out what is happening in their world and their business. You may be asking for help at a bad time for them.

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