Send email or letter
To maximize your efforts, start the process with an email. Here are the general instructions for such an email:
Announce your call and explain as soon as possible how you got their name.
This is crucial- you will have about four seconds to catch their attention if they open the email. The subject line should be used to entice the recipient to open the email. It might be effective to write who or what referred you to that person since they will likely recognize it.
Explain how they can help you. It is probably best to refrain from requesting referrals at this point.
Ask for 15 to 20 minutes of their time.
It’s always better to have time face-to-face if distance allows, but if this is not possible, phone time will be sufficient. The only thing to remember is that on the phone 15 to 20 minutes is a lot of time. On the phone it might be more appropriate to ask for a few minutes.
The only thing to remember is that on the phone 15 to 20 minutes is a lot of time. On the phone it might be more appropriate to ask for a few minutes.
Use a disclaimer such as:
“I DO NOT EXPECT FOR YOU TO HAVE A POSITION THAT FITS MY QUALIFICATIONS OR THAT YOU KNOW ANYONE THAT HAS A POSITION THAT FITS MY QUALIFICATIONS.”
By writing this you remove fear that you really don’t care about their advice, ideas or info and you only want a job from them.
Make a phone call
Your main purpose is to schedule a meeting. Remember that they may not be expecting a call at that moment, so all you can ask for is three to five minutes of their time. Always ask if this is a good time or you can call later.
That said you may encounter someone that has some interest in getting to know you better on the spot and you will find yourself in the middle of an unscheduled interview. Remember; be prepared in the same way you would be for a telephone interview.
Go to the meeting
If you have made it this far, the worst is over. At this point, keep in mind that you don’t have a firm relationship with this person yet. For this reason, be sure to make one request and then not ask for anything more. Your purpose is to acquire information, advice, ideas and referrals. If you did not ask for referrals in your email or phone conversation, don’t do it now either. Ideally, referrals will come as part of the flow of the conversation. They might not be ready to share them yet.
PREPARE RELEVANT QUESTIONS
BE RESPECTFUL OF THEIR TIME
ASK FOR PERMISSION TO STAY IN TOUCH
Thank you note
One of the biggest mistakes networkers make is failure to follow-up with someone promptly. Whether it is a simple thank-you note or follow-through on something you promised, it is important to follow up.
If you promised to help someone in any way, make sure you do so promptly. One out of 300 networkers and interviewees send any kind of thank you. It is important to be one of the few. This thank-you gesture must be made as soon as possible, ideally the same day if possible. A thank-you letter can be done by handwritten note or by email.
Thank you letter
Now is time for you to look into results of the conversation. If the person gave you advice then investigate that advice for results.
Once you have implemented some of their ideas, you should write another email to let them know how things are going. You show who you are regardless of what you got out of the meeting by staying in touch. By staying in touch you prove yourself trustworthy. You have left the door open for your sixth and final point of contact.
It is hard to imagine that by now this individual does not know who you are and appreciate your relationship. By now you have established a new relationship.
It has been my great pleasure to bring this information to you on the key points on developing a new relationship from scratch applying a step-by-step process. We hope that you will use the information and work hard to find a job and career, which is perfectly suited for the next stage of your life.