So here's my Beef-o'-The-Week:
I speak at a lot of conferences, and inevitably, the day after (or often the same day), my inbox is filled with email from conference attendees trying to network and/or sell their services.
One could look upon this as a minor inconvenience...or a major opportunity. Being the open, optimistic type, I try to lean towards the opportunity, but the content of most emails I've been receiving lately makes it difficult to do so.
That said, here's a tip to all of us (I include myself in this group as I am frequently part of the askers):
If you're going to try to engage a busy person you just KNOW is being besieged by others, don't be coy. Get to your point, and fast. Do the ask, and do it clearly. Don't play games and try to pique one's curiosity with oblique obscurities.
Here's what I mean. Last week, I spoke for Visa at an Entrepreneur's conference. Here's "the close" to an email I received a couple of days later:
"I would like to discuss various possibilities of business.
We have several projects likely to interest you.
I invite you to contact me for further information."
Huh? I don't think so. For to get me off my busy schedule, you had better let me know:
- What ARE these various possibilities? Give me a clue or two.
- Why on earth WOULD they interest me?
- Uh buddy, you emailed me. You wanna sell, you do the contacting!
Compare that to a brief note I got after speaking to TV and film producers at the Playback Mobile Conference in Toronto a few weeks back:
"Hi there. I loved your presentation and vibe at the Mobile Forum and wanted to get in touch and say Hello! Do you ever need content or production? Or do you do all of that in-house?"
Short, to-the-point and direct.(The compliment didn't hurt either, I must admit.) The start of a conversation. My quick answer was "Depends on what type content you have..."
Today, the author of the second note is in discussion with Airborne Entertainment's video team, looking at potential collaboration.
The author of the first note had to be rescued from my Deleted Items to be part of today's post.
Unsolicited email can open up a world of discovery, and expand one's reach (I can't tell you the amazing number of relationships I've cultivated with previously-unknown souls who have reached out to me via this blog...and vice versa). They can also be fast-tracked to oblivion. It's a new world out there, but the basics of communication still rule as per whether or not yours if gonna get an answer.