One of the more interesting things which happen to me pretty regularly are emails I receive from people I don’t know (yet), reaching out to set up a meeting or call. In the email the sender states no specific reason for me to meet with them other than to “connect”, “compare notes” or “get your advice”.
Now — there is of course nothing wrong with reaching out. Quite contrary: It’s awesome.
But asking someone you don’t know to take time out of her day to meet for no other reason than a vague “connect/get some advice” is just not helpful (especially not when you can safely assume that the recipient of your outreach is a busy person).
What’s more vexing is that often, when I take the meeting or call, the person who asked for the meeting truly had no other agenda than rather benign small talk…
Instead figure out what you want from someone before reaching out (be specific!) and state your points clearly in your email. And don’t forget to answer the equally as important question: What’s in it for the recipient of your message?
I can guarantee you that your response rates shoot up once you do these two simple things.