I have found a common trend with my clients lately…reconnecting with past acquaintances. Have you ever sat down and put a list together of people you came in contact with a while back that may be worth trying to reach again? Maybe at the time you met, they weren’t in a position to utilize your services, or you weren’t in a position to offer assistance. Whether you met golfing or through a previous business arrangement, it never hurts to try and reconnect with people who may just become your next client.
Constructing the right strategy can help build relationships that may not only lead to a new client but also help someone who is in need of your services. One project I was currently working on was drafting letters for an attorney who was hoping to catch up with some contacts from their past. The timing of one of the letters we drafted couldn’t have been better, and a meeting was made the day the letter was received. It’s not always going to work that smoothly, but with a little planning and follow up, you may have your next meeting before you know it.
Whether you decide to pick up the phone or send a letter or email, it’s a good idea to be up-to-date on their situation and their business. Do some research…are they on LinkedIn? Have they published anything lately? Look up the company and start gathering information. Company events, new announcements; anything you find interesting that you can reference in your correspondence.
When you have some background information, it’s time to construct a letter. Although I’m a big proponent of email, I find a nicely written letter sometimes sets you apart from the mass amounts of email that so many of us are inundated with daily (and I like to save the email as a good tool to use as a follow up to the letter and phone call). Even though there’s a lot of junk mail delivered every day, make your mail stand out and consider having it hand delivered if the company is local, or have it sent via UPS or FedEx. It’s going to cost more than a stamp, but it’s also more likely to be looked at and read.
There are 3 main areas to cover when drafting your letter:
- Reintroduce yourself briefly…offer a reminder as to your last meeting, who introduced you, and what you’re doing now.
- Give a short description of why you’re looking to reconnect. Have you followed their company? Is there any news or events that have happened to them personally or professionally?
- Present an offer to reconnect. Do you both like to golf? Are they active in a charity or organization that you’re familiar with or belong to? If not, you can always offer coffee, lunch, or dinner.
Make the letter personal, but brief and to the point. Just like an email or a long-winded phone call, if the letter is too long people will lose interest quickly. Show that you’re genuinely interested in getting back together with them and how you might be able to help them.
If they don’t respond right away, don’t let it go. You can stay top of mind without being a nuisance. See if they are on LinkedIn and if so, ask them to connect. Let them know you post content regularly that they might find interesting. Give them a follow-up call to make sure they received the letter. Sometimes mail gets lost or misplaced….it’s always worth a quick call or follow-up email to be sure the letter was read, and to see if you can gauge interest from their response.
So, make your list – do your homework – and start re-connecting! If you’re looking for project assistance in getting this task done, visit Elite Virtual Assistants!