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Getting in touch

February 20, 2012

I’ve decided that February is the month in which I make new business contacts…

There are so many people I would love to work with, yet even after all these years, I still sometimes find it hard taking that first step. It can be daunting picking up the phone or sending that introductory email, but I’ve promised myself that February is the month that I focus on this and so I am honouring that promise.

To make it easier for myself, I take a methodical approach and follow these steps:

1. Find the best direct contact

2. Become familiar with their company and projects

3. Clearly introduce myself and articulate why I am contacting them

4. Be clear about how I can help them – it’s not just about what I hope to gain

5. Follow up – after all that effort, it would be silly not to follow up the initial contact to see if something might develop!

6. If they or their company can’t help, I ask if they know someone who might

One of the sentences I like best when introducing myself is, “So and so recommended I contact you because …”. Having a referral from someone else helps break the ice and gives both parties a point of reference, a way into a conversation that helps create a receptive space in which to talk. However, I don’t always have a referral, in which case, it comes down to being passionate about my idea or project, genuinely wanting to make contact with the person who might be able to help, rolling up my sleeves and just getting on with it!

Megan Walker, Director of Market Savvy, writes a very helpful monthly column that she generously shares on her website and I recommend reading her recent article, How to get face to face with potential customers. It provides some useful tips to assist us getting on with the job.

Week four… here I come!

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