In Perfect Pairings: The Art of Connecting People, Jessica Leigh Levin, CMP, CAE, president of Seven Degrees Communications, makes the distinction between networking and bringing people together for their professional benefit. She offers a list of common-sense — but frequently overlooked — ways you can thank someone who has made a connection on your behalf:
1. Send a thank-you note. Put it on nice stationery. Everyone loves to sort through bills and junk mail and see a handwritten card that reminds them that they made a difference.
2. Make a donation to their favorite charity or organization. People who are connectors are often involved in nonprofits. Supporting a cause that is near and dear to them says that you understand what is important to them.
3. Send a meaningful gift. Listening to others and knowing what they like is an important component of being a connector.
4. Take them out. If someone is local, an excuse to get together in person is always a good thing.
5. Help them. Offer to make an introduction for them, find a resource, or work on a project.
6. Say thank you. It doesn’t matter how or when or where. It doesn’t matter how much or how little it costs. Say thanks and say it often.