How to Reach Out After Losing Touch
Everyone has that long lost cousin who only shows up at holiday dinners and weddings. They pretend to be your best buddy on the one day of the year you actually connect — and it’s obnoxious. The same holds true for business contacts. It’s normal to lose touch. But, when it’s time to reconnect, be honest and enticing. Here’s how to reach out after losing touch without looking like a sleazy salesman.
Start off with a joke.
Whether you pick up the phone or send an email to someone you got a business card from at a sales conference last year, use humor. Poke a little fun at yourself for always being the last one to connect or that you’re still working on that nagging little procrastination problem. Hey, we’re all human. Keep the initial contact light and funny.
Explain how you met.
Refresh the person’s memory of how you met and something that might have stood out to them. Recap the engaging seminar led by the loud-talking mad scientist lookalike that you both attended or the fantastic ocean-view lunch you shared. Simply stating your name and business often isn’t enough to jog the memory.
Don’t be best buddies.
The best way to turn someone off is to assume you have more of a connection that you really have. Remember, they didn’t contact you during this time lapse, and there may have been a reason. Once you break the ice and have their attention, move into professional mode ASAP.
Talk about why you’re reaching out.
Dive right into what made you call or message. Did you start a new project that they would be interested in knowing about? Do you value (um, need) their expertise? Did you read something they wrote and have a product that could ease their pain points? Explain exactly why you’re reaching out now and what prompted you to take action.
Offer a deal.
Don’t make the connection all about you, even if you are looking for something in return. Balance the conversation. For example, if you think they could lend valuable insight as you develop a new product or sales strategy, explain the benefits they will gain too. Maybe they get co-credit on a promotional piece or their logo will show up as a sponsor on your free ebook. Remember: People want to know what’s in it for them.
Just do it.
Stop wavering. You’ve already waited week, months — gasp!–years. If you’re going to contact someone from the past, make it happen. You have a 50-50 chance they will also be glad for the reconnect. If you want to skip the usual social media mail or voicemail routine, send a handwritten note in the mail. The extra effort will get noticed.
Ready to knock the dust off that old relationship? Paper Direct has every type of business stationery you can imagine, from logo-printed letterhead to postcards. Browse the Business Communication store online before another few weeks lapse.