Contacts Template for Networking

Networking is one of the key factors in the success of most young professionals. Whether it is gaining valuable advice or getting a leg up in the hiring process, networking opens doors and unlocks knowledge that would otherwise be hard to find.

best way to track networking contacts

As you meet contacts in finance and build your network, you will need to track and monitor your relationships with these individuals. It is important not to let a relationship die off, and it is also critical to remember certain key components of conversations of the past.

Attached is a networking template which helps you determine when you need to reach out to contacts and helps keep track of your database better than LinkedIn.

Business Contact List Template Excel

My personal contact list is broken up between "Senior Level", "Junior Level", "Coworkers", "In College", and "Family." It is important to differentiate your contact levels. For one, it is ideal to keep your senior to junior level contacts around 50/50 in order to maintain experienced mature employees whom may retire in the next 10-15 years, and those that will grow with you in your career for the rest of your life.

I created a column in the contact list to break out current company and previous employers. In case at some point in the future you have an interview for a particular company, it is beneficial to be able to track down any contacts you may have which would have an insider's perspective to the company, or very well may be able to reference you to the people hiring.

You will notice in two of the columns, there is a differentiation between "Last contacted" and "Last in contact." The difference between the two is last contacted is the date in which you wrote last, and last in contact is the last time they actually replied to you.

Following Up With Networking Contacts

My general rule of thumb for following up with contacts is to have at least spoken to them in the last 6 months. Some may want it shorter or longer, but that is the way I have it set up right now. The months since last contact column will turn red when the last contact is more than 6 months. This lets me know to email or call them soon.

I hope this helps set up a basic framework for each of your contact lists. Personally, this helps me make sure to stay on top of staying in touch with everyone I know.

Read More About Networking on WSO

Decided to Pursue a Wall Street Career? Learn How to Network like a Master.

Inside the WSO Finance networking guide, you'll get a comprehensive, all-inclusive roadmap for maximizing your networking efforts (and minimizing embarrassing blunders). This info-rich book is packed with 71 pages of detailed strategies to help you get the most of your networking, including cold emailing templates, questions to ask in interviews, and action steps for success in navigating the Wall Street networking process.

Networking Guide

Attachment Size
Networking_WSO.xls 51 KB 51 KB

Comments (86)

Aug 22, 2012 - 5:22pm

Wow, thanks for sharing. This is good stuff.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Aug 22, 2012 - 5:47pm

Good Stuff, I take notes in the name cell by typing shift+F2. This way your spreadsheet doesn't get out of control with long comments distorting the cells. Also, include if you didn't get a hold of them or didn't respond you can put a details in the "last contacted" cell.

What else do you monkeys use?

Fear is the greatest motivator. Motivation is what it takes to find profit.
Aug 22, 2012 - 5:52pm

Good Stuff, I take notes in the name cell by typing shift+F2. This way your spreadsheet doesn't get out of control with long comments distorting the cells. Also, include if you didn't get a hold of them or didn't respond you can put a details in the "last contacted" cell.

What else do you monkeys use?

Good stuff. I am interested in finding out what the other monkeys do as well.
Aug 22, 2012 - 6:24pm

I only have 4...any others care to join? We can make it a banaorgy in here...

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!
Aug 22, 2012 - 10:27pm

This is nice.

Has anyone tried to supplement lists like this with a calendar? I use a calendar to keep tabs on my networking. It is not as convenient as an actual list but it helps me in the process of both researching and planning. I set dates when I will contact people again if I have something concrete and its very easy to look back at past months to see who I have been in contact with recently and who I have not.

Aug 23, 2012 - 12:38am

I've got a similar spreadsheet. I also added columns for "Total times contacted" and "Education (undergrad/mba)."

I break mine down by IB, PE, HF, etc. Maybe it's better to do Senior/Junior. I'll look into it.

My name is Nicky, but you can call me Dre.
Sep 16, 2012 - 2:37pm

Thanks El.
I have never tried a calendar.
I think if you use senior and junior, you can do a quick sort based on industry.

I'm just starting out, so I don't have a spreadsheet/calendar for this.

But if I were to use a calendar, it seems a simple way would be make an event when you did contact someone and them set it to repeat x months from now.

Although the spreadsheet takes more time to setup, it seems to payoff better later on by being able to search by industry, relationship type, etc.

Aug 23, 2012 - 2:43pm

I've been doing this for ages. But I can't believe it never occurred to me to build a "last contact" function. I'm kicking myself, it's so obvious.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."
Aug 23, 2012 - 8:28pm


I will add one more column to rate the overall experience with a particular contact.

The Auto Show
Aug 24, 2012 - 4:58pm

Excellent template! I've just set it up for myself. Great tool to keep track of everything.

The error of confirmation: we confirm our knowledge and scorn our ignorance.
Sep 19, 2012 - 2:46pm

This is something I definitely need to do much, much more of.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Oct 3, 2012 - 10:01am

Thanks this is great.
One thing I like to add is somebody's birthday.
Always a good reason to touch base and if you integrate it into your calendar with early enough reminders you can always add a personal touch by sending a card or note.

"Know what you own, and know why you own it." - Peter Lynch
Feb 5, 2013 - 9:27pm

This is really useful, thanks for the share. I've modified it to my liking and it is now the perfect networking tool.

Jun 2, 2013 - 3:56pm

this post is beyond helpful!

“To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.” --Benjamin Graham B.K.
Jun 6, 2013 - 4:34pm

This is absolutely wonderful! I've been working on a template like this for awhile. The one thing I wish it had and something I've been trying to figure how to implement is keeping track of the contacts I have access to through my contacts. If anyone has any ideas on how to organize this in Excel, I'd love to hear them! :)

"Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito" Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.
Best Response
Feb 11, 2017 - 3:10pm

I know this is an old post. But I wanted to share a quick Macro I made for this file." AndyLouis It's not much but this forum helps me a ton so I wanted to give back what I could....

I was reading "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi and he talks about grouping your contacts in a sort of priority method. I decided to put people in categories
"1" (I want to stay in touch at least every three months,
"2" at least semi-annually, or
"3" just say hi about once a year.
So I added a "Priority Code" to Column N. and for each contact I give them a 1, 2, or 3. (Column L is "Last in Contact" and M is "City" just FYI)

I am learning to code a bit using VBA and I wanted to add some extra functionality to this list by changing the way the "Months Since Last Contacted" (Column K) changes to red. If my dates don't meet the above criteria the then that cell in Column K will turn red... instead of all being the same, this makes it so each one is dependent on the date we last spoke and the category I assign them .. I then threw a button on it and assigned it the Macro.

**note you probably will have to delete the other conditional formatting otherwise it may cause an error. Too many pointers trying to assign the same cells different things.

This is not terribly useful or complicated, but i just wanted to share in case anyone wants to use it. I tried to put comments that made it very clear what each line was for in case anyone wanted to tweak it to make it their own.... Wasn't comfortable uploading the file in case I left some sort of identifying marks in it to either myself or my colleagues.
------------------Macro Below-------Copy and Paste, assign it to a button and you're set-----------------------------

Option Explicit

Sub PriorityColorChange()

'Gold Jacket, Green Jacket, who gives a shit?!

'For'Bad' The Font Is: (156,0,6) The Background Is: (255,199,206)
'For 'Good' The Font Is: (0,97,0) The Background Is: (198,239,206)
'For 'Neutral' The Font Is: (156,101,0) The Background Is: (255,235,156)

'Declare R (stands for Row) as a variable type of integer
Dim R As Integer

'Start on Row 6
R = 6

'Move to cell N6
Range("N" & R).Select

'Loop through each row in column N until there is nothing in Column.... **Note, if you forget to put a priority in for a contact, it will not auto-color anything below that contact 
Do While Range("N" & R).Value  ""

    'If the priority cell is 1 then alter "Months Since Contacted" after 3 months
    If Range("N" & R).Value = "1" And (Range("K" & R) > 3) Then
        Range("K" & R).Font.Color = RGB(156, 0, 6)
        Range("K" & R).Interior.Color = RGB(255, 199, 206)

    'If the priority cell is 2 then alter "Months Since Contacted" after 6 months
    ElseIf Range("N" & R).Value = "2" And (Range("K" & R) > 6) Then
        Range("K" & R).Font.Color = RGB(156, 0, 0)
        Range("K" & R).Interior.Color = RGB(255, 199, 206)

    'If the priority cell is 3 then alter "Months Since Contacted" after 12 months
    ElseIf Range("N" & R).Value = "3" And (Range("K" & R) > 9) Then
        Range("K" & R).Font.Color = RGB(156, 0, 6)
        Range("K" & R).Interior.Color = RGB(255, 199, 206)

        Range("K" & R).Font.Bold = True
        Range("K" & R).Font.Color = RGB(0, 0, 0)

    End If

    'Increase the Row by 1
    R = R + 1

'Repeat Loop

End Sub

Sep 26, 2018 - 1:09am

Hey GoldJacketGreenJacket , thanks a bunch for sharing the macro. I did encounter a problem with my cells not turning back to normal after being formatted by it though. It seems your macro changes interior color of a cell to red when the "months since contacted" threshold is passed but doesn't change it back after bringing it back under that threshold. I added this line to the Else statement near the end, and it fixed my problem.

Range("K" & R).Interior.ColorIndex = xlNone

Also, the priority 3 code seems to be using "9" instead of "12". So anyone reading this be sure to make that change.

Just a heads up.

Feb 12, 2017 - 4:18pm

No offense taken! I agree with you for the most part and this is very easy if you're close to someone or work together fairly often. But I think it's useful to make an effort to stay in touch with others you may not be very close to or from a reason to talk to all the time.

Just an example, have you ever thought of a person who you could be really helpful to you or helpful to a friend of yours, but you realize you haven't spoken in almost a year and now your first contact is going to be asking for a favor? Or worse yet, hitting them up for a random hello and then a week later talking to them about what you intended (obvious! Hey we haven't spoken in a year and now I'm hitting you up twice in a week one of which is for a favor) I had this happen a few months ago, my friend's kid was interested in going to a particular university. I knew an Alumnus who I thought could be very helpful for her and I wanted to connect them. It wasn't the end of the world, but how much smoother could it be if I had checked in every so often and this was just a regular exchange.

Again, not for everyone and if you can remember to stay in touch with a ton of people at once without any system, then by all means. Just wanted to share it.

Feb 13, 2017 - 4:32pm

Hi, I was wondering - how exactly do you keep in touch without getting annoying? I find it very hard to keep in touch, espiacially with more senior people that I dont know that well BC I'm never sure how I should follow up after inital contact (After meeting and adding them on LinkedIn).

Thanks for the template!

Feb 14, 2017 - 8:28am

I'm by no means an expert, so take what I say with a grain of salt

If you are just sending the first email. Just simply thank them for the meeting, mention something you had a connection with (preferably mutual... Hometown etc)

When pinging someone down the road. You need a reason to be emailing them. Best/easiest is probably something in their career. I sent one yesterday to a consultant acquaintance that recently left his firm and went to run strategy at one of his clients (I assume it was a client, that's usually how it goes). When I emailed him, it looked like he had been there for about a month so far. I sent him a quick email along the lines of "Hey Carl (not his name), just wanted to check in and say congrats on the new role. I see you left insert city and are in insert city now. I have a few buddies in that city so if you're ever in a jam, please don't hesitate to reach out. Best to you and your family.

You can also keep a quick note of something they're interested in. Patriots Football, hunting, music, wine, cars, laptops....
"Hey Jim, it's been a while since we spoke at the *University of Beer bongs * I was reading Garden and Gun last week and saw this article on a new Whiskey Distillery which is trying to match the ingredients and mash-bill of Pappy. (If someone finds a bourbon like this, PM me) I know you're somewhat of a connoisseur and it reminded me. Just wanted to pass it along. Hope all is well! "

Feb 18, 2017 - 4:16pm

You can also download your contacts from Linkedin in an excel spreadsheet. Probably will be a bit easier.

“You adapt, evolve, compete, or die.” -Paul Tudor Jones
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