More Clients TV
How To (Painlessly) Reconnect With Old Contacts
In our last few videos we’ve looked at generating new leads – new initial contacts with people you don’t know.
But what about all those contacts, Linkedin connection and business cards of people you met, but didn’t properly follow up with? How to you reconnect with your old contacts in a way that’s painless for you and them, and generates real leads for your business?
Watch this week’s 5 minute marketing tip to find out.
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Hi. It’s Ian here. Welcome to another five-minute marketing tip. We’re continuing on our theme of lead generation, and this week’s tip is being prompted by this email I got sent by Lauren, who replied to my video from last week and said, “Thanks very much, Ian. Perhaps your next piece could be, what to do with hundreds of leads, business cards, and Linked-in connections we’ve allowed to go cold.” That’s a really great thought, because many of us do have tons and tons of connections that we’ve generated as leads in the past, but aren’t really doing us any good, because we’ve let them go cold. I’m going to go through how to warm up and reconnect with some of your old contacts and your old leads after this swoosh.
Hi, welcome back. If you’re anything like most people, you’ve probably collected over the years, a whole bunch of contacts, people you’ve worked with, had meetings with, talked about working together, all sorts of connections that you’ve then let go cold. Don’t feel too bad about it. Everybody does it, but it can be great if you can reconnect with those people, and then keep them warm in the future. A couple of tips on doing that.
The first is, try not to let them go cold, in the first place. Don’t lose touch. Secret to that is to prioritize. You’re never going to be able to keep in touch on a regular basis, with 500 different people. If you try, you won’t be able to keep in touch with any of them. Focus down, and prioritize. Look at say, 50 people. With 50 people, all you have to do is send out two communications every business day for about a month, and you’re back in touch with 50 people on a monthly, regular basis. That’s sustainable, and you can keep that going. Prioritize, and try and keep in touch on a regular basis.
If you have lost touch, and you want to reconnect, but you don’t want to get all embarrassed, and you’re worried about what might happen if you try and reconnect with them, a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, stop worrying about it so much. Relax a little bit. What’s the worst that could happen? Many of us worry that, “Oh, no, I might damage my relationship, if I try and get back in touch with them.” You know what? If you’re not in regular contact with someone, you don’t really have a relationship with them. Over time, that relationship is decaying, and decaying, and decaying. If you just don’t get back in touch with them, there is no relationship to lose. What’s the worst that can happen? You get back in touch, and someone either ignores you, or even gets upset, you’re no worse off than you are now, so it’s worth doing.
On the positive side, you can spin it around a little bit and think about what would happen if someone who you had worked with before, who did a great job for you, you got on well with, got back in touch, after you hadn’t spoken to them for a couple of years? Would you be ultra-suspicious and not want to speak to them? No, chances are, you wouldn’t be. Chances are, you’d really appreciate the chance to get back in touch, swap emails with them, maybe grab a coffee or whatever it is. It’s probably going to be just like that for you, when you get back in touch with people. Certainly, for the vast majority of people. As I say, relax a little bit. Probably nothing that could happen on the downside, and the upside is really quite good.
How do you go about getting back in touch? The first thing is, there’s an easy route in, if you’re not connected with them on Linked In. If you’re not connected with someone on Linked In, an easy way of getting back in touch, is to offer to connect with them on Linked In. Don’t do the automated thing, where you press it, and it just says, “I would like to make you part of my network.” Go to their profile, and hit the down-arrow on the “connect” button there, and that will allow you to send a personalized message. Then say something like, “Hi,” whatever-their-name-is. “Just trying to re-establish connection with friends and colleagues who I’ve lost touch with. I hope to speak with you soon.” Something like that. It’s really simple. Nobody’s going to turn that message down. They might ignore you. Nobody’s going to get upset about it, though. Chances are, most people will reconnect. They’ll recognize your name, and they’ll get back in touch.
That’s where Step 2 comes in, which is really vital. This is a step you jump straight to, if you’re already connected on Linked In, or you go to, after they accept your Linked In connection request. That’s to follow up, by adding value. If someone has accepted your Linked In connection request, or you’re already connected, and you want to get back in touch, go and look at their Linked In profile. Go and look at what’s happening to their company in the news. Go and look at what’s happening to them in the news, if they’re reasonably high-profile. See what they might be doing on Twitter, etc. Find out, and also remember from your previous experiences, what’s interesting to them? What do they care about? Make a few little notes on that.
If you’ve got a CRM system, or something Contactually, do it on there. If not, use a piece of paper. Use a notebook. Make a few notes on what you think they’re interested in and they care about. That might range from business topics you know they care about, to, you look on their Linked In profile and you notice they’ve worked in Valencia for the last year, and you worked there for a little bit, or whatever. Something you think would be interesting, to get back in touch with them, and talk about. You’re reconnecting and adding value. The next message you send them, is going to be something useful or interesting. It might be a question. If you spot on their profile, “I noticed you worked in Valencia. I worked there for six months. Found it really great. What did you think?” You’re engaging with them on a personal level there.
If you know they happen to be interested in a certain business topic, and you’ve written an article about it or you spot an article somewhere on the web, or go and look for a useful article somewhere on the web, or a TED Talk, or whatever it might be, send them a link to that. “Thought you might find this useful,” type of message. Reconnect by adding value, either in a personal level, by spotting and picking up something they’re interested in that’s not business related, or a more business-oriented thing, where you send them a link to an article or some useful piece of content.
From then on, just keep going at it. Do that thing where you can keep in touch with 50 people by just doing two a day, every month. Remember, if you’re going to be looking up someone’s profile, finding out what’s interesting to them, sending them something of value. You can’t do that for 500 people. You can only do it for 50 people. Once you get into the swing of it, maybe you can increase that to 100 people. If it takes you a bit more time, maybe it’s 25 people. Either of those is a good number to be following up with, re-establishing relationships with, and then building relationships with on a monthly basis. Remember, try and add value all the time. Try and do something interesting and useful to them.
Eventually, based on how the relationship goes, maybe you then suggest a phone call, or grabbing a coffee if they’re nearby, or something like that, and enhance the relationship by making it more personal, essentially. Judge it as things go, based on their reaction. If you send them something useful, and they reply to you, and they say, “Oh, that was really great. Thank you very much,” and you get chatting, great. Maybe you offer to have a phone call or a coffee. If you send them something useful, and then the next month, you send them something useful, and they never respond, maybe take them out of your 50 for nurturing relationships with them. Pull someone else in, because they’re clearly not that interested in maintaining the relationship with you.
That’s it. First tip, don’t lose touch. Second tip, relax. What’s the worst that could happen? Chances are, they really are going to be pleased to hear from you. Third tip, re-connect quickly using Linked In, and then do something that adds value, and start repeating that on a regular basis. That’s it for this week. See you, next.