Leon Steyn is a Public Speaker, Facilitator-Trainer, and international Author of Books and Articles that teach personal development skills and talent development at organizations.

Reach Out to Someone in Need

How to Successfully Reach Out To A Stranger And Make A Connection – Kathy Caprino9

‘As one who is in the media a good deal, I’m approached literally every day by scores of strangers hoping to connect, speak, get free advice, or inquire about my coaching services.

I’m truly honored and happy to receive requests to connect from those I don’t know (in fact, that’s how I built my LinkedIn connections to over 2,300), and I understand that it is a given for me in my line of work to be contacted by people who want to connect and also need help. All good.

But being on the receiving end of hundreds of emails and LinkedIn invites that I LOVE to get, and others that don’t work at all, I’d like to share with you my perspective on the right – and the wrong – way to reach out and ask to speak or connect with someone you know only from their online presence.

From my point of view, there are three vitally important ingredients that need to be present in your communications and in the manner and style of your outreach for you to be successful. If these are missing, you’ll fail to make a positive connection at best, and annoy and offend your potential contact, at worst.

What 3 ingredients need to be reflected in your outreach?

1) Do your homework, and demonstrate that:

You’re reaching out to this individual presumably because you’ve heard about their work through word of mouth, or an article you read, or a LinkedIn update that resonated with you. That’s great, but here’s what must come next. If you want to make a connection and especially if you are hoping for something from this individual, do your homework, and a lot of it, before writing to them.

2) Understand how it truly works to find a mentor:

This needs to be someone who has observed the potential in you already because you’ve demonstrated it to them, and who would enjoy nurturing that potential. It’s not a complete stranger but someone with whom you are already intersecting in your career or field and who has shown interest in you and would love to be supportive. If you don’t have anyone in your life that fits that bill, I’d suggest that you endeavour to enlarge your sphere of influence.

3) Take into consideration where your new contact is coming from:

Finally, when you reach out to someone you don’t know, be considerate, respectful and put yourself in their shoes. In all your communications (at work and in your personal life), think about the receiver of your communications and how they need to be treated and approached in order to be able to respond in a positive way.

Be considerate of their time. And understand that building relationships online is exactly like building them in person. You wouldn’t come up to a stranger at a cocktail party and grill them with questions about you and your life. You’d ease into the situation, listen deeply first, and learn about who they are and what they care about. Then, and only then, would you respectfully pose a question or offer a comment that you know is a good fit with their passions, skills, and interests.

I hope these tips are useful as you go out in the world and build a fabulous support network and enthusiastic “ambassadors” for your work. Developing a powerful community and network is truly essential to your growth and success, as is learning how to connect with strangers in ways that enliven them as well as support you.’

Are you looking for more guidance on how to become the best version of yourself?! I want to share with you a free copy of my book "Transformation in 28 Days" which is waiting just for you.

Simply click on the link below and order your free copy! All I ask you to cover are the shipping cost so I can send you your book wherever you are in the world. So hurry, don't wait until this offer expires for you!

Resources: Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

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