Step 1: Schedule a meeting (Call)
How to start a conversation? How to approach a person? It’s so much easier to shoot a message to the people that know you well, than email a person whom you haven’t talked for years. You got to have a strategy. You need to know what to say.
First, I suggest that you do a little research. Most likely you are connected with the person on Facebook or LinkedIn. Open up the profile and scroll through their newsfeed. You will find out what they’re interested in, what they talk or post about. Maybe there was some significant event in their lives. New job, the birth of a child, gettings engaged, purchase of a house, finishing the first marathon, you name it. Whatever it is – it’s your conversation starter.
Next, message your connection: email or social media. You want to be short and friendly.
Your main objective is to build a relationship
You want to meet to listen and learn. The other person has a lot of experience in his or her space, and you want to sit and learn about the industry they are in. Ask about the challenges they have. What are they proud of?
Another thing to mention is the time we’re in. You got to be empathetic. Coronavirus had impacted a lot of people around the world. Be mindful of that and open up your message with ensuring that the recipient is well and healthy. Nowadays, you need to be as thoughtful as ever. Realize that how you compose the email with another professional entirely depends on whether your relationship is close or distant.
Think twice before you hit “Send”
Generic, lazy man Greetings
“Hope you’re well.”
“Hope this email finds you healthy.”
“Hope you and your family are healthy and safe during these uncertain and unprecedented times.”
Everyone’s writing the same greetings. You can do much better than that.
“I hope you are staying safe, sheltered in place, stocked with toilet paper, and healthy during these absolutely unprecedented, wild, chaotic, terrifying times.”
email script EXAMPLE
I hope you are staying safe, sheltered in place, stocked with toilet paper, and healthy during these absolutely unprecedented, wild, chaotic, terrifying times.
I know you have a lot of experience in [their area of expertise], and I would love to have a chat with you over the phone or FaceTime to learn about the industry as well as the “do’s” and “don’ts” as I get started.
Please let me know if you’re free over the next couple of weeks for a quick conversation. I’d appreciate the chance to ask questions.
LINKEDIN SCRIPT EXAMPLE
Your LinkedIn profile got my attention OR We are both in the [name the group] group and I wanted to reach out and introduce myself.
In the interest of expanding my professional network and collaborating with fellow professionals, I am hoping we can connect.
Would you be open to a 20-minute phone or video call to get to know each other? If so, please let me know what days/times work for you.
Thanks for considering the possibility,
Step 2: Have a conversation
tips for conversation with your contact
Once you’ve scheduled a meeting, use these tips to structure an effective conversion with your contact:
- Research their connections on Linkedin and determine who you may like to be introduced to
- Be enthusiastic, express energy in a way you speak, be personable and curious
- Make sure you have good reception/no background noise for phone conversations
- Be respectful of their time and pay attention to the clock
- Always ask how you can help them, and thank them for their time and support
One-on-One script EXAMPLEs
Before you start talking, you need to know what you want. What is the outcome of the conversation you are after? What do you want as a result of it? I suggest that you ask for connections. Most likely, the person you are going to talk to won’t be able to help you, BUT they probably know someone who can. This must be your main objective – to get a reference. Ideally, the person will introduce to their contact.
- Open the conversation
“Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I am excited to learn more about you and see how we can help each other professionally.”
- Learn about them
“How did you get your start? I’d be interested to learn a little bit about you.
What is it that you currently working on? What is the biggest challenge?”
- Tell them what is your focus
“… my focus is on data analytics. I would like to land a position with a well established consulting company or a company that’s main focus is on data analysis and research…”
- Offer to help
“Who would be beneficial for you to meet right now? I would be happy to make an introduction or be of support in any way if there is someone in my network who could help.”
- Make a request
”Do you think there is someone that you know, whom I should talk to? Would you feel comfortable making an introduction?”
Let’s say the conversation went well and someone has made an introduction for you. Here is how you approach your new connection that you’ve been referred to:
Nice to meet you! Seeing that you work for [company name] got my attention and [Name] was open to making the introduction. [Name] and I know each other from [explain]. In my current transition, I am researching various companies in the market and wanted to see whether you might be available for an exploratory conversation about your career and how you like working for [company]. I would like to learn about the work that you are doing and see how we can support each other professionally.
[State your PVP (personal value proposition) and focus]
If you are available, let’s schedule a 30-minute phone call to get to know one another better.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to connecting,
Good luck my friend! Stay tuned.