There are several people who contribute to our journey towards excellence, growth and success. Some people become part of our journey, to benefit from it themselves and some willingly share their time and knowledge to make us successful in our endeavours. There are times, when we need an influencer’s help to shorten the path to success. An influencer who can play catalyst in our lives; and yet sometimes we find it quite daunting to approach these people to ask for help.
As entrepreneurs we understand that it is not how much you know, but WHO you know that matters in some situations like asking for testimonials, references, letter of recommendation, crucial advice or introduction to a dream referral.
Here are a few insights to make it easy for you.
Go to their gatekeepers – The easiest way to connect with your influencer is to reach out to his public relations officer, agency or those closest to him. Make sure you ask them – which is the best way to reach him? What mode is he more likely to respond to – phone call, email, appointment to meet with him directly? Although the internet has made it incredibly easy to get contact details, it is best to check preferences before you start.
Flattery – All people famous or not, enjoy flattery. Flattery that is genuine and relevant to what they do. When you write to them, make sure you begin with appreciation of what they do. This may call for some amount of homework on the influencer’s line of work and his contribution that inspires you. Keep the flattery short and crisp, no one likes to read long mails these days.
It is all about timing – So you have followed protocol, connected with the person, done your bit to flatter him. Next comes the important part. There is a delicate balance you will need to maintain between introductory pleasantries and asking for the favour. Experts say it shouldn’t be too early in the conversation for fear of looking too much in the face, with your need. Also give the person time to read about your work and then ask for a testimonial, as an example.
If you are there to ask for a specific connection spend some time giving him your work background and showing him how you add value to people in your network. Then move on and explain the value you propose to bring to the dream connect you are asking for. This will make it easy for your influencer to see value too and therefore help you with the introduction.
Perseverance is the feeder to success – Be ready to be turned down several times before someone says yes. Someone eventually will, if the favour you are asking for is valid and your asking is done respectfully using the right protocol to approach.
So go ahead and ask, ask, ask, ask…someone is always willing to help you in your journey upwards.