More than a year ago I wrote a post titled "Every Cold Call Can be Warm":
I get about a couple requests a week from strangers asking me to take some action (look at something and give feedback, talk on the phone, meet for coffee). It’s astonishing the variance in quality of such cold calls. For anyone who has a blog (like me) there is an abundance of material that can make a cold call more meaningful.
Since my book came out the number of random emails I get (which I enjoy, by the way — keep ’em coming!) has increased. What’s also increased is the body of material from which a cold caller can draw to find a common bond.
Last week I got a random email from a guy named Akshay Kapur. Saying he was trying to embody the spirit of "every cold call can be warm," his email had six bullet points:
- a link to a fun article about the California fires
- an offer to help explain health care (in response to a post I did saying I was clueless)
- a link to a post by my good friend Ramit which cited him — credibility through endorsement
- flattery — he said he finds page 132 in "My Start-Up Life" so motivating he reads it every day
- a book recommendation responding to another book I had reviewed
- request to talk on the phone about entrepreneurial ideas
I love this. I will enthusiastically talk with Akshay on the phone. When you don’t have a personal introduction to someone, the next best thing is to show you’ve done your homework.
If you do your homework and are persistent after the initial outreach (ie, don’t give up after one unanswered email), I think you can meet with just about anyone. I know I’ve done this myself with pretty good success.