Most initial desired connections are through phone or email because the chances of running into that someone in person are slim to none. And there’s only a 5% chance of someone picking up the phone the first time you call, so you need a way to get them to respond to you. Here’s how:

  1. Be prepared. Know what you want. Try to network to them. If you can’t network to them in time, and that’s usually how it is, you’re going to need to pick up the phone. Don’t worry, most of the people you want to talk to don’t need a connection to talk to strangers.
  2. Use both phone and email. Send email first if they and/or you are introverted, vice versa if you are both extroverted. No matter what your preference is, you have to do both.
  3. Be brief.  Deliver your short introduction and tell them briefly and clearly what you’re looking for.
  4. Be persistent. There are many reasons well-intentioned people don’t call us back. Reach out to them at least three times. They may be away, busy, lost your number. Or just never got around to calling you back.
  5. Don’t stalk them. Never leave more than 5 messages. If they haven’t reached out by then, they aren’t going to.
  6. Answer the phone when they call. Nobody has time or patience to engage in telephone tag.
  7. Add them to your network by expressing appreciation and returning the favor.