Ertugrul Belen & Optimist Publishing House
Perhaps the key element of your Networking strategy is "following up on" people. You cannot simply put your network aside to nourish. Unless you're putting in efforts to keep that network revved up, all your sweat goes down the drain.
You learn how to manage your network properly over the time. This is where age and experience come into play. Networking requires a bit of patience. What you sow today may yield its fruits years later. Realizing that you've already lost a contact just the moment you're in desperate need would be a huge disappointment.
Therefore, a particular strategy to follow up on contacts should also be built, along with your overall Networking strategy. To this end, such instrumentation as telephone, Internet, social networks, congratulation cards and small gifts may serve us well. Start "following up on" your contacts, right now. Not like a stalker, though!
Just make them feel how valuable they are for you, and prove that you "are there" for them.