Steps to Management Success – Step 86: Write Fan Letters

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 5th, 2010

STEP EIGHTY-SIX: Write Fan Letters

There are probably a few business leaders, speakers, or consultants (including, perhaps, the occasional business book author or two) whom you read about and whom you’d love to meet and maybe even work with. Don’t let their fame—or misperceived high price tag—get in the way of your getting together.

WHAT IT MEANS: It’s a small world, and people are far more accessible than you might think. Often, a good letter to said superstar is all it takes. Why a letter? Because this is the medium that is more likely to get through the gatekeepers than a phone call or a chance encounter on the golf course or in the rest room. Most letters, if they are serious and businesslike, will get read—and anything that gets read might yield a response. It’s a long-shot to be sure, but what have you got to lose? Gaining a big-name business leader or training guru as a contact or partner in some new venture could open doors that you never even knew existed!

ACTION PLAN: Pick the special someone you’d like to meet or work with, and write your letter. Your letter is more likely to elicit a response if you’re proposing something of mutual interest—getting together so that you can pick his or her brain is not likely to cut it, no matter how much flattery you pour on. If you have a specific proposal to discuss, spell it out. In other words, give your business icon a good reason to say yes. Perhaps an invitation to lunch or breakfast?

EVEN BETTER: Make your presentation values as stellar as the star. Have some top-drawer stationery designed and printed (if you don’t have some already), and have your letter hand delivered. Flourishes such as these can help make the dynamic and dignified impression that can result in the favor of a reply.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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