I recently got an email from Wayne, who is doing a lot of right things, but perplexed that his outbound communication attempts aren’t getting the results he wants.
What would you recommend? Leave your advice in the comments below. I’ll answer with my ideas on Monday’s blog post:
I have a question about not getting a return phone call from a potential networking contact after 5 or 6 tries. The following is my approach:
1. I make a call during off hours (to ensure voicemail) letting the individual know about my purpose (evaluating some career options) and I wish to expand my network with other experienced professionals through a brief meeting. I also mention that they should expect a follow-up letter in the mail.
2. The letter (see below) goes out 2 days before the call via normal mail, with the intent that it arrive not more than 2 days after my initial voicemail call.
3. I then begin following up the letter and initial call with other calls (almost always getting voicemails) asking them if they have received the letter and would it be possible to spend a few minutes with them. If it is a VM, I leave my name and number and ask them to call back.
4. A couple of times when I have received a call back, people pay no attention to the networking aspect and probe me on what I am looking for re employment
5. After 5 or 6 tries using this method, I switch to something else (e-mail if possible)
I can only assume that something is either wrong in this process or I am missing something because activity (meetings) have been painfully slow to come my way.
Here’s the letter he sends (see #2, above). This is with a nice letterhead with all the contact info:
My name is Wayne ———- and I left you a telephone message recently with respect to connecting with you on a professional level. I am an executive in the ————— business, formerly with —————-, and I am evaluating career opportunities.
I am seeking to expand my network and I would like an opportunity to meet with you in order for you to get to know me.
I am not expecting you to know of a job available for me although that would be nice. Rather, it is to ask you, professional to professional, if you would be willing to look over a list of target companies when we meet and perhaps share some of your knowledge base on a few of them.
My tactic is to connect with professionals in the industry with the goal of becoming “top of mind”, partly in the event you may require industry information from me , but also to seek out the right ————- professionals to network with. As a result of these, and other initiatives, should a career opportunity open up in the future within our industry, my expectation is that I will be thought of first.
I would very much prefer to meet with you in person for 20 or 30 minutes within the next few weeks. May I suggest the following dates and times for a face to face meeting but please suggest alternate dates if they are not suitable to your schedule: ….. ( dates and times)
Alright smart people, what do you think? What would you tell Wayne?
And Wayne, thank you for letting me share this with the world. I hope the answers in the comments will be helpful to you and many others!