Ultimate Networking Strategy: The Birthday

the birthday networking strategy

One of my best friends is a genius and he doesn’t realize it. By genius I refer to an innovative practice that he has developed and which I am going to share with you.

What he does is that he remembers birthdays. WHAT do I mean!? Isn’t that so easy?

After everyone graduated from college, my group of friends all went their separate ways. One friend moved to Seattle to work on a boat, another to Idaho to be a ski bum, one to Manhattan to make millions, one to Ireland to teach basketball.

What Matt did was simple, but brilliant. Matt wrote down everyone’s birthday and then got hold of their email addresses.

Sure enough, 15-20 times per year, you can be sure you’ll receive a birthday reminder from Matt along with a few sentences about what the person is doing and their number/email so you can call them to yell: ’Happy Birthday!’

When I first graduated from college I worked for the worst boss anyone could imagine the guy was Lucifer, but incredibly smart unfortunately, he didn’t use his smarts for good purposes. Anyway, one thing he knew how to do better than anyone I have met was leverage connections; and his primary means for creating that connection – the birthday.

Whenever he met a potential business contact, he would get their business card and then somehow figure out how to ask about their birthday. Once he had the date, he noted it on the back of the business card and then immediately entered it into his Microsoft Outlook Contacts folder.

[If you are not an avid Outlook user you might not be aware that you can set Outlook to remind you of friend’s birthdays. Now, you can even do this on Friendster.com and Facebook.com.]

My boss then had a template email set up and as soon as an Outlook reminder came through for a new birthday, he shot off an email. For him, it was the perfect opportunity to follow-up with people (hit them up for whatever creepy favor he needed at the time) and still look like a saint for remembering their birthday

That is the power of the birthday.

Note: Matt is a networking genius and he is working to develop an innovative blog discussing networking, organizations and events for the under 35 crowd, so stay tuned for more info


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