After you “tweet”, “friend”, “link”, email, or mass mail to gently ease into reconnecting with an old client having some canned conversation initiators can make Step 2 – “The Call” much easier. Here are five tried and true approaches that have worked for the reluctant caller. When it’s time to pick up the phone and talk to your contact try these words. Don’t fake it, find one that’s true to you.
1. “I was pleased to reconnect with you via LinkedIn; it made me realize that we haven’t talked in a while. How are you?” (My earlier blog post titled “Bag LinkedIn. . .” may have been a bit harsh because it certainly has a place like here to break the ice with old contacts!) – - if they accepted your invitation to join your network, they are now anticipating your call. Don’t let them down!
2. “I just reconnected with (person’s name that you both know) and realized that we haven’t talked in a while. How are things going for you? “– this is a great reason to call lots of contacts from a past client organization who all worked together at one time!
3. “I just read an article on your firm in (publication) and thought of you. (Elaborate a bit on the article). . . Just wanted to touch base to say hello and see how you were doing.” – if you read the business press, you know you have thought about individuals from your past when you read articles about their companies, so it’s something you’ve kept to yourself but now you can share!
4. “I’m going to the (organization) conference in May and was wondering if you planned on attending. I thought it might be nice to reconnect with you there for dinner. Do you plan on going?”- This is one of the best because you are being considerate, thoughtful and may end up with an excuse to avoid the rubber chicken dinner!
5. “I’m considering writing an article on (topic) and thought of you because I knew you would be a great person to give me a valuable perspective on it. Could I trouble you to arrange a call to get your point of view on (topic)?” For those of you who have thought about publishing an article, this approach is gold because people are flattered that you think of them to give you advice. You can collect your research, get valuable market insights and reconnect with an old client!