Sometimes, the people you want to network with don’t answer your request for a conversation. Then what?
Most people give up. In fact, most people I’ve observed give up after the first try. They simply wait for an answer that never comes.
The first rule is follow up. They may never have received the email. The person you asked to contact them may have forgotten. They received it, but they got busy, and it slipped their mind. There are a thousand reasons for the connection to get lost. The important thing is to not let it derail your plan.
Sales people learn that it now takes eight attempts to reach a contact. Yikes. For those of us who are not naturally gregarious, that is a startling statistic. Take a moment to get over the shock.
OK, so that means one email is not likely to get you every contact you ever wanted. Now you know.
That doesn’t mean giving up is the best solution. It means you need to figure out how to follow up with the people you want to know without becoming a stalker.
Here is the plan I follow. Feel free to adapt it as it fits your needs:
- Ask: Ask someone to introduce you to your target. It works well to include you in the introduction email. Wait a week for the target to respond.
- Research and Connect: If they don’t respond, contact them through LinkedIn and ask for a connection. Research your target and offer some information they need. Wait a week for the target to respond.
- Email Offer: If they don’t respond, send an email mentioning the introduction and offering a link to an article, the title of a relevant book or some other information of use to them. Ask if they would prefer to receive no other contact from you. Wait a week for the target to respond.
- Text Offer: If they don’t respond, send an email or text mentioning the introduction and your reason for getting to know them. If you have another link or article to offer, so much the better. Wait a week for the target to respond.
- Mail Offer: If they don’t respond, send a snail mail inquiry letter mentioning the introduction and asking for a call / meeting. Wait a week for the target to respond.
- Phone Offer: If they don’t respond, call to mention the introduction and ask for a call / meeting. (Leave a message, if necessary). Ask if they would prefer to receive no other contact from you. Wait a week for a response.
- Ask: If they don’t respond, start the process over by asking for an introduction to the same target from another person.
If they ask you to stop the contact, stop. Otherwise, feel free to continue trying to reach them. Remember to be generous with information.
If you have used other follow-up tactics successfully, we’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comment field below. If hating to network is keeping you from your dream job, contact me today so we can solve that!
Image courtesy ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.