Do you recognize this situation? A colleague or client, someone who has a solid understanding of your business and expertise, tells you that someone they know very well really needs your services. They follow through with an email introduction; you respond with “I’m pleased to meet you” and “Let’s set up a meeting time”.
Sometimes this results in an immediate conversation or meeting but sometimes … there’s no response at all. You might send a few more emails, connect with the referral on LinkedIn and even reach out by phone, (leaving friendly and inspiring messages, of course).
Still nothing happens. You begin to feel foolish and likely even start to believe that this lack of response means “no”.
How can you make the connection? What call to action will result in a response to your email?
When we are in these situations, we often lack empathy, are even thoughtless, about what is happening in the referral’s world. Because we haven’t built a relationship with them yet, we only focus on what we want – the meeting, the conversation, the commitment to get things started
But what we actually need is … knowledge about what they need.
And we can find this out by including one simple request in our email. Here’s an example:
This note is to make sure I don’t “drop the thread” of SoAndSo’s introduction. Shall we organize a time for a phone conversation? Let me know what works best in terms of your current priorities.
Now the follow up is about them, not us. It clearly illustrates our respect for their time and our interest in them, in what they want to accomplish.
I have a 100% response rate when I ask for information on the other person’s “current priorities”. Sometimes I receive a specific date and time that works for a conversation, sometimes they share with me the details of what they are currently focused on and organize a future follow-up date.
Whatever their response, we have now begun relationship … and that’s what follow up is all about!
Give it a try. Let me know what happens. And … enjoy your phone work!