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How can you get people to open your networking e-mail requests?

How can you get people to open your networking e-mail requests? People I thought would open these frequently don't. Am I missing something?

Answers

Topic Expert
Mark Richards
Title: VP of Finance & Operations
Company: RBA Consulting
(VP of Finance & Operations, RBA Consulting) |

After loads of trial and error (heavy on the 2nd), I developed a format that got me a 90% response rate.

Here's how it works.

1) E-mail title: Mark Richards - Referral from John Smith

The name "John Smith" is what they open the e-mail, because it's a name they recognize.

2) E-mail body: Short with 3 points

Assume everything is read on a smartphone. Your only objective is to get a meeting, NOT to explain your background, so you keep it short.

The 3 points to get across: WHY, WHAT, WHAT'S NEXT

WHY: John recommended you as a referral for my publicly-held company CFO role because of your work on boards.

WHAT: I would like to find time for coffee/call to see if we can do some mutual networking in addition to seeking assistance in my search.

WHAT'S NEXT: Please send me some dates/times that work in your calendar.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

Do not attach a resume, etc. - just make sure your LinkedIn profile URL is on your signature.

If there are other points of connection (college, former employer, etc.) put these at the bottom of the page. Then your request to send dates appears in the first screen on the smartphone.

Always offer to do mutual networking, this sets a much different tone to the reader, since it's not a one-sided meeting they will be attending. If you are actively networking, they you will most likely have something to offer when you meet.

TWO RESOURCES ON PROFORMATIVE:

E-mail Template: Setting Up a Networking Meeting

Networking Tools - Practicing the 80% Rule - will tell you how to get ready for mutual networking (the 80% rule: 80% of your focus during networking should be on the other person).

Hope this helps.

Mark

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