Let's face it: email is still the predominant channel to network. 91% of professionals check their email daily. By far the highest out of any channel. Networking emails matter. They are an inseparable part of developing meaningful relationships in which you can help each other reach your goals. But, only
So, if your networking emails get tossed to the trash, here are 3 common mistakes you could be making.
#1 - You Are Too Persistent
It is important to not ask for what we want from networking contacts right away. Take some time, get to know your contact, and see what skills or services you can provide for that person. Focus solely on what you can get out of the connection and you will never make meaningful, mutually beneficial connections. When you network, it’s all about them, not you.
After you send a networking email, give the recipient seven to 10 days to get back to you. Keep in mind it’s easy for emails to get lost in inboxes. Be patient. This period gives the person enough time to go through their inbox and get back to you. If they don’t get back to you, then it’s appropriate to send a follow-up email. Following up psychologically places a little guilt on the recipient's mind for not responding the first time. This creates social pressure to respond.
#2 - You Are Too Emotional
When you're trying to reach someone you admire, it's sometimes hard to keep your head cool. You can be really excited to meet this person on the inside, but acting like a "fan" and writing how much you love his/her work in 5 paragraphs might be seriously annoying and even creepy for the recipient. So, play it cool.
It's important to consider who you're "talking" to and what action you want them to
But don’t over do it. One ego stroke is enough. More and you risk coming across as desperate. It's also important to stay calm when you get a response from that person. If you're feeling too emotional - delay your response - if you send a message in the heat of the moment, you can't get it back. Wait until you've calmed down and can think clearly and rationally.
#3 - You're Not Selective Enough
Since this is not strictly a popularity contest, it's good to be selective. To be effective, networking needs to be about relationship building, not sending as many emails as you can. It’s not and will never be just a numbers game.
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Take some time, get to know your contact, and see what skills or services you can provide for that person. Try not to think about what they can do for you just yet. The goal is to broaden your network and make meaningful connections so that they can help you later. But remember that networking is building the relationship. And it's way better to have 5-10 people that you can count on that have 300 contacts that you barely know.