Note from MicroMentor: After reading enough support desk tickets from entrepreneurs expressing frustration that their first meeting with a mentor seemed strong, but then they were not able to get a hold of their mentor afterward, it seemed high time to say a word on keeping mentors engaged. This post from Groove nailed it – and highlighted how a mentoring relationship is a two-way street. If a mentor starts to feel unappreciated or that they are no longer receiving value from an interaction, they’re going to move on to a mentee who appreciates their talents and reciprocates the value the mentor delivers.
Republished from the Groove blog, read original post here.
This comes back to the most important part of connecting with mentors in the first place: standing out from the crowd. There are two things that you can do, after meeting with someone and asking them for help, that will make you stand out:
1) Follow up with emails
Immediately after meeting with a mentor or advisor, send them a “thank you” email. But don’t just thank them. Tell them exactly what it was that you appreciated about their advice, and exactly what next steps you plan to take to implement their feedback.
Surprisingly, most people don’t do this. They either send a simple “thanks for the meeting,” or, worse, completely disappear! And then, once you’ve put their advice into action, email them to let them know exactly how it went, and what you plan to do next. This is a great opportunity to ask for more help. The people with whom you’d want as your mentors are typically busy, and their time is in high demand; they want to know that it’s being used wisely.
Not following up is a sure way to make it seem like you don’t value the time that they gave you.
2) Continue to deliver value
On a more general level, the “deliver value” part of connecting with mentors is not a one-time thing to get them in the door.
You should continue delivering value in any way that you can.
Put a note in your calendar to carve out time and work on doing something valuable for your mentors every 90 days. Do you have a particular skill that the potential mentor might not have (i.e., coding, design, SEO, etc…)? Offer to apply it to help on their business or side project.
Can you think of an idea that would improve their business? Send it over. Do you know anyone that the person might appreciate an introduction to? Can you make that warm introduction for them? Is there a book or product that you think they’d appreciate, that you could send to them?
By taking the two steps above, you’ll set yourself apart and be ahead of nearly everyone else competing for their advice.