We all have excuses for failing to maintain relationships and business contacts. Whether the excuses are valid or not doesn’t matter. What DOES matter is how you handle your long-lost contacts moving forward. If the contact is important to you, personally or professionally, you need to follow these steps:
- Think of the personal, or business, value a specific person has to you. Decide for sure that you want to recommit to a relationship with this person for the value it brings to you. Then remember the #1 Rule: You achieve your own goals by helping others achieve theirs.
- Prepare for making contact again:
- Check out Facebook and LinkedIn and the people you know in common. Find out what this person has been doing lately. By doing this you will most likely find a good entre to a new conversation with them. Send them a friend request on Facebook if you choose, but personal contact is better.
- Review your past relationship to locate the pretext that you can add to the entre you discovered in the step above. If you have any email threads where you did something good for the other person, keep them handy.
- Now that you have an idea of their life today, think about how the other person may remember you. Imagine what type of subject heading or initial conversation would engage them:
- How does it feel being an empty-nester?
- What has been the biggest challenge of your new role at [Company X]?
- What do you like about living in [name of town/city]?
- Even if you feel guilty, do NOT make the initial communication about you and what you did or didn’t do. Make the communication about THEM.
- Craft an opening call or email asking about the other person’s life, such as:
Hi Mark, This is ___ from your old marketing department. I just heard that _____ and couldn’t wait to be in touch and find out more from you.
Don’t mention your current job.
Don’t mention your real reason for the contact.
Don’t provide contact information under your signature, keep it personal.
Don’t include URL’s or links or any information about you.
- Follow up with your email and include a good memory.
- Wait until the other person asks about your business/job before you bring it up. When they do ask what you are doing, tell them your business situation, but don’t ask for business. Re-create your relationship first. Let them come to you. Then you can “gently” ask for their business.
If you are sincerely interested in reactivating a business relationship, following the above steps will help you do so successfully.
SD County Escrow Team