Storing contact data in a contact manager's database makes it easy to retrieve contact data. However, you need to remember to retrieve that data and actually contact your contacts.
After all, the whole point of networking is to create a network of contacts that you know -- and who know you -- so you can work together on projects and activities. The people who you interact with frequently you have "top of mind awareness" -- it's easy to think of including them in your projects and activities.
But what about those other people in your network? How will you remember to include them when you have an opportunity appropriate for them? And how will they remember to include you in their projects and activities?
The answer to both questions lies in increasing the frequency that you contact the people in your network. As your network grows this becomes harder to manage.
The solution is to use a feature in your contact management system or CRM software that reminds you when it's time to renew the contact. Good contact management and CRM tools make it easy to create a reminder when it's time to contact someone. In CRM systems this is frequently called a task or action item. Set the date for the task for month or two in the future. Then, the software will float the item to the top of your to do list when it's time to renew a contact.
Unfortunately, most address book programs do not include good contact management features. If your address book program has a calendar you can create "appointments" in the future to remind you when to renew a contact. Just be sure these calendar entries aren't confused or obscure actual meetings and events on your calendar that you need to attend.
SureToMeet includes a "Next Contact Date" feature in the contact management area that makes this easier. After each networking event, just go down the list of contacts who attended the event and update the "Next Contact Date" field. SureToMeet will remind you when it's time to renew each contact.
Keeping in touch with your new contacts is a great way to grow acquaintances into relationships into a network of relationships.
Just make sure your contact manager is up to the task of reminding you when its time to renew each contact.