When trying to reconnect with someone who trusts us, we often think completely backwards on three things.
- Give them a lot of information
- Try to help them
- Ask them for something big
A big huge email is a lot of responsibility. This is the gift we’re giving someone when we perfectly craft a big old message that conveys everything we’re thinking.
We are giving them work to do.
They have to set aside time, get in our mindset, process what’s being said, consider what it means to them, and then figure out an adequate reply. If they’re going to reply to it, they have to show that they read it and respond to all the points.
This is if they’re not just totally turned off by the size of it.
Most of the time these huge emails also look generic, so they don’t really warrant a reaction.
Oh, also… why now? Why are you suddenly dumping all this stuff on me when we haven’t talked in months?
A cold offer might be way off base
When we’re not in regular communication with someone, most likely we don’t know what they need at the moment. So trying to help them either comes across as…
- unsolicited advice (criticism)
- tone deafness
People don’t like to be helped.
Even polite people over-ask
I personally have messages that are hard for me to reply. It could be a simple question like “Can you meet at a cafe this month to discuss your show?” This question at the right time can send me into a tailspin of internal questions like
- is it better to pick a date soon, or later?
- a cafe near them or near me?
- where are they located?
- is it worth it to spend an hour discussing my show with this person?
- do you think this person wakes up early enough for me to have coffee with them, or would this be a lunch time thing?
- what will we be discussing?
- are they trying to be social or are they trying to get an answer that could be sent thru email or do they really want something else from me?
- what does my schedule look like this month?
The little question list goes on and on.
Conversations are how we make sales, start collaborations, and learn about the impact of our creations. We need them. If our goal is not to broadcast and ask, but to serve; it’s much easier to get started in a conversation.
Help is a one-way street. People don’t like to receive help, but they like to give it if it’s real help.
Here are some conversation starters…
Hey! long time no see! I am forming a new business and i thought you might have wisdom to share. If i told you about it, do you think you could give me quick feedback?
I respect your eye for fashion! I’m thinking about changing my costume to this… (picture attached) because I want to be more bookable in Vegas. Do you think this is a good direction?
I’ve been thinking about you a lot because my cousin just moved to Hawaii. I was thinking of setting up a booth at a good trade show next year, but I can probably only afford one. Do you have a fav?
Look how casual. Look how straightforward.