Over the years of working, learning and even traveling, we’ve known a lot of people who eventually became a part of our personal and professional network.
With the convenience provided to us by social media, communicating with these people has become as easy as pie. Not to mention the speed in information dissemination.
But while there are people whom we constantly coordinate with, there are some whom we often get out of touch with perhaps because of distance and different career path. For business people, reconnecting with old contacts is just as vital as making a follow-up on various sales lead.
However, given the length of time you’ve not been in contact, there is a good chance that they might have already forgotten the casual acquaintance you’ve had with them for several weeks or months. Rebuilding your connection with each other requires a certain degree of caution on your part as business personnel.
If you need to reconnect with someone you haven’t been in contact for years, the following ways are considered to be part of the basic etiquette.
To sell might ultimately be your reason for reconnecting, but keep in mind that you won’t get it unless you’ve earned the person’s trust.
When contacting someone you haven’t spoken for long, it is good etiquette to always show some consideration. Put yourself in the shoes of that person and ask yourself what they need right now. Selling or marketing is never about you. It’s about the person who will reap the benefits of whatever it is that you’re providing.
Get an idea of what they need first before saying anything.
You will come out as suspicious once you automatically drop a message to someone who might not even remember you. The best way to appear relevant and trustworthy is to know who you’re speaking to. Take some time to check their recent online activities.
What have they been putting out on Twitter or Instagram? Is there any special event or achievement they just announced on Facebook?
The more up-to-date you are, the easier it is to build a connection.
Searching for a contact’s recent activity is your chance to find something worth asking. For example, you might see how the person just bought a brand new car.
You can drop a quick email asking how he is and his experience with the new car. There’s no need to sell anything here. Don’t drop any sales pitch, don’t add links and don’t say anything about what you’re up to.
Reconnect by asking something of his interest – something he can directly relate to.
Once you get the person to reply, don’t immediately jump into your sales pitch tone and tell him what you’re offering and what not. This just ruins the mood and will most likely make the person more hesitant to get into a conversation.
Take time to get at ease with each other even through online correspondence. That’s the whole point. Besides, you don’t have to bring out your sales pitch on the first day of contact. The more comfortable you become with each other, the easier it is to discuss an idea.
Reaching out to a business contact is not as easy as it seems. If you don’t exercise subtlety in reconnecting, people might consider the act as a mere cover to some ulterior motives.
Be wise in building your professional network by understanding the needs of your contacts! Remember that your honesty in reaching out is more resounding than any well-crafted sales pitch!< Back