Failing to nurture relationships is the biggest mistake you can make. Tossing away a business card or not following up with someone based upon an "not needed, nothing he/she can do for me now" attitude could kill your future business. Small connections can lead to big contracts. I've learned this time and time again.
When you make a connection schedule a time to send a personal thank you note within 48 hours. If you're too busy, get someone to help you with this. Personal notes are crucial.
Next, schedule follow-ups. Yes, you want to schedule times to touch base with everyone. I like to schedule a touch-base email every 45 days. There are lots of software and cloud computing products out there can help you personalize mass emails with the click of a button!
Finally, I host an annual holiday part for my contacts. Don't just hold one for your employees. Have a networking party around the holidays for your contacts, your employees, and your employees contacts. If you're not an employer, send holiday cards to your contacts.
Staying available allows people to refer business to you and visa versa. You never want to be out of sight and out of mind.