Steps to Networking – Step 72: Make Your Move

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 14th, 2010

STEP 72: Make your move

Plan your strategy. Decide whom to communicate with first. Do you want to call a first generation contact who can deliver precisely what you need? Or would it be better to proceed incrementally, building step by step until you can reach a target who can provide what you want?

Usually, the best and easiest approach is to be straight forward. Send an email similar to the example below:

Hi Bill-

It was great meeting you at the Chamber mixer. Every time I think about that story you told about Frank, I crack up laughing.

Attached is an article on new monitors that might interest you.

Are you free for lunch this Thursday, March 21st. Hope you can make it because it would be fun.

My best to Phil.


In your follow up communiqué, state where you met and include a reference that will make the connection closer and more personal. Attach or send articles of information, cartoons or information that might interest your contact and open up subjects for future communications. Make sure that whatever you send or attach is relevant, otherwise you’ll be sending irritating spam. In your message, refer to shared experiences or special events that occurred.

State your request directly and specifically. If you merely say, “Lets get together for lunch,” without suggesting a particular date, it may never happen. By being specific, you shift the responsibility to your contact to either accept or decline and you keep the flow of communications alive.

If you are looking for information, be clear about what you want. State, “When we met at the NSA conference, you mentioned that you have a friend who works for Steve Spielberg and that he might be interested in my screenplay. Can I email him and use your name? If so, please send me his email address.”

The immediacy of email makes it ideal for following up. Instead of being forced to wait for the delivery of a letter or note, email is instantaneous . . . it’s the emailers who take longer. Through email you can quickly set up follow-up appointments or meetings. Notes or letters may be more personal and more appropriated for specific contacts, but email quickly gets the job done and in most cases is perfectly acceptable.

Follow–up phone calls are as fast as email, but busy people are harder to reach by phone. Unlike telephone messages, most emails are usually read and responded to promptly.

To make your follow ups more memorable, attach articles, announcements, cartoons or other information that might interest your contact. Send information related to or of interest to his/her business or concerns. Send joke or gag gifts to get their attention, but don’t be a pest. Don’t relentlessly inundate your contact with unrequested information or your subsequent communications won’t even be opened.

After you send articles or announcements, telephone your contacts. Ask what they think about the item you sent, how could it impact them and ask them to explain it to you from their perspective. Show interest and concern, but don’t try to sell them. Simply try to create a positive impression and build for the future. If you can’t get through by phone, do it via email.

Professional speaker and marketing consultant Ken Glickman recommends a method of following up that will to create a great impression. When you come across an item that could help a contact, don’t immediately fax or email it. Instead, first send an email saying, “I found something very useful and I’m going to send it to you Wednesday.” When it arrives on Wednesday, you’ve accomplished two objectives: (1) you helped your contact by sending something he/she might find valuable and (2) you’ve demonstrated that you are a person who does as he/she promised. By following Glickman’s approach, you can subtly position yourself to create an excellent impression.

When you hear about developments related to your contacts, call and ask how it will impact them. Show interest and concern. Again, don’t try to sell; simply try to be a friend. When appropriate, ask how you can help.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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