Example of a Magic Mail

October 6, 2011

Last week I mentioned that sending Magic Mails is an excellent way of leading by example to receive referrals.

Some readers asked for an example.

So here is one (from the book “How to REALLY use LinkedIn“)

To: eric.rogers@best-accountant-in-the-world.com
Cc: john.johnson@web-designer-number-one.com
Subject: introduction

Hi Eric,

I want to introduce you to John Johnson (in cc). John is the Managing Director of Web Designer Number One. John may be the guy that can help you out with your new website. They make great websites (on their website http://www.web-designer-number-one.com you find lots of examples and references). I’ve known John for a while and even worked with him at ABC Company. One of the things I will always remember him by, is his ability to offer a solution that satisfies the needs of the customer while staying within the budget. He is really customer focused. I even recall him a few times recommending another solution or even another vendor if he thought it was in the interest of his customer. I definitely recommend him and his team!

John,

Eric Rogers is my accountant and also a personal friend. In fact, he is such a good accountant because he is more focused on people than on numbers! Eric is looking for a new website. And because of our joint experiences and the great job you did for SuperMarket XYZ (I accidentally heard their Marketing Manager bragging about you at the last Chambers of Commerce meeting), I thought you might be the perfect candidate.
I suggest the two of you get together for a talk. Maybe you can do this combined with watching a soccer game? I understood the both of you are fans of Manchester United.

Eric, you can reach John at: (telephone number John)
John, you can reach Eric at: (telephone number Eric)

Good luck!

Jan

 

 

Let’s take a look at the “ingredients” of the Magic Mail:


Header

• To: the person who is the “receiver” of the product, services or help.
• Cc: the person who is the “supplier” of the product, services or help.
• Subject: “introduction”: this makes very clear what this email is about.

You can put more people in the “to” and “cc” field if that’s appropriate. You can also put everybody in the “to” field, but for me this makes it easier to know who I introduced to whom. This is especially useful for your own “follow-up” or “stay in touch” actions.

Body

• First I address the receiver then I address the supplier.
• I always give the reason for connecting the both of them.
• After addressing the receiver I also always address the supplier so he knows something about the receiver and especially about my relationship towards the receiver. This makes it easier for him to find common ground. And to start the relationship on a much higher level than with a “cold call”. In this example I even go a bit further: I go to the “value” level. Both are very customer and people focused. This is a very strong basis to build a relationship on. And especially when a third party with whom they both have a good relationship with points this out (which is me in this case).
• The same applies, of course, for the receiver with regard to the supplier.
• I include what I appreciate about the person, organization, product or service. This way I maintain and strengthen my relationship with every party. Even when there is no future interaction between them, the email was worth the effort as a “relationship building action”.
• I also try to find commonalities on another level than the professional one. In this case they share a passion for soccer and they even support the same team. There is an instant bond. This bond exists most of the time (remember the 6 degrees of proximity), but we don’t always find it in a conversation because we didn’t talk about the areas where we might be related. If you as the connector know about the interests that two people share, tell them. This way you help them to get a flying start.
• Include other references and objective parties if possible. The better the receiver knows them the better the reputation of the supplier. In this example I first referred to the references at the website of Web Designer Number One. Then I gave a second reference: the Marketing Manager of Supermarket XYZ.

Conclusion

• Call to action: I suggest that they contact each other. This means:
– THEY are expected to take ACTION, and there are no barriers to do this, because I (the respected and trusted third party) suggested them to do this.
– I put the telephone number of the “supplier” first, because I want to encourage the “receiver” to make contact. This is more comfortable for the “supplier”. This way I try to decrease the feeling of “selling” something as much as possible. And I open the possibilities of building a relationship and helping each other out.
– They contact EACH OTHER, not me anymore. I step out of the process. I did my part of the job: connecting them. Now it’s up to them. This helps me to spend my time wisely as I’m not the intermediary.
• Telephone contact data: so they can quickly reach each other. If they want to have contact via email, they already have it in the header of the email. I don’t recommend following up on an introduction like this via email. The way is wide open for a personal contact via the telephone.

For some people this example might be perceived as too pushy. Please note that this is an email to two people you already know and have a good relationship with. In this case I am very confident that bringing them together will be beneficial for both of them.

To your success !

Jan

PS: there is a free light version of the “How to REALLY use LinkedIn” available in English or Dutch. Click on the link.


If You Want to be in the Media, Be Online and Especially on LinkedIn

September 22, 2011

Like anybody else journalists and reporters have to do more in less time.

When they are looking for information, they use the web a lot (surprise surprise).

However there are some “characteristics” you might be interested in to know about.

These are some findings of the Arketi Web Watch Media Survey (from a blog post on the Marketingcharts website):

– LinkedIn is the most popular social network among business journalists, with 92% having a LinkedIn account (85% Facebook and 83% Twitter).
– Virtually all (98%) journalists read news online, and 91% search for news sources and story ideas.
– Many engage in activities such as social networking (69%) and microblogging (66%), while more than half blog (53%).
– Despite high levels of social network membership, only 44% of journalists obtain story ideas from microblogs, while 39% obtain them from social networking sites.
– 82% of business journalists say a company without a website is less credible, and 81% turn to a company site when they are unable to reach a source.
– 85% call industry experts for breaking news.

What could be the conclusions?

1) You need to be present online with a website, a LinkedIn Profile (personal) and a LinkedIn Company Profile.
2) You could start building relationships with journalists by following them on Twitter and commenting on their blogs, stories (on the website of their magazine) and microblogs/status updates.
3) You need to be where they are when they need an industry expert (fast): on LinkedIn.

To your success !

Jan


Referrals: Lead By Example

September 15, 2011

Last week I wrote about the importance of your expectations when asking for referrals.

I got a few emails that it still was hard for some people to ask for referrals.

They wrote that their customers don’t know how to do it so they don’t ask anymore.

One of the best ways to get results, is to show them first.

Ask them who they need to achieve their targets.

If they own a business or are in sales, that would be new customers. However in many cases your customers are not looking for new customers themselves since they are in human resources, finances, IT or other departments.

Then ask them: “Who do you want or need to reach your goals or do your job?”, “Who do you want to meet?” or “What kind of expert would you like to meet to learn from?”

Then look for ways to get them in touch with each other.

After they have seen your example, they will be more inclined to help you as well. And when they tell you they don’t know how to do this, simply refer to the connection you made for them.

To your success !

Jan


What Are Your Expectations When Asking For Referrals

September 8, 2011

Three weeks ago I wrote a blog post about “What are your expectations when going to events“.

The same information applies to asking for referrals.

When you ask a current customer to refer you to a potential customer, what do you expect?

Do you expect them to come with objections or do you expect them to happily help you?

Again, the expectations you have will heavily influence the result.

Of course you need to have a good product/service and be prepared to objections, but what are you focusing on? A positive result or a negative result?

If you can just change your mind from rather negative to rather positive, this will already make a huge difference in your results!

To your success !

Jan


Turn Clients Into Word-of-Mouth Machines

August 25, 2011

This week’s blog post comes from Bill Cates’ newsletter, the Referral Minute (I encourage you to register for it as well since it contains many useful tips). I liked the idea so asked Bill’s permission to reproduce it here so you could also benefit from it.

I just conducted a special referral boot camp for a group of about 50 highly-successful financial advisors (I mean highly successful). One of the advisors shared what he does to generate a steady flow of referrals from his “A” clients.

This advisor turns his clients into Word-of-Mouth Machines by providing them with a continual flow of shirts, umbrellas, and other high-quality, utilitarian items that his clients use on a regular basis. He told the group that “a $50 shirt is a small investment to get your clients to let others know that they are using you.”

I’d like to add emphasis to the words quality and utilitarian. If the items you provide to your clients do not meet both criteria, you are probably wasting your money.

This advisor has created a “culture of referrals” among his clients. They love the work he does and are happy to spread the word in a low-key, easy way.

Isn’t it true that IF we get something from a company, we hardly want to use it because the item SCREAMS “I’m a billboard”?

How does it apply to your organization? What do you give away and will people be proud/happy to use or wear it? Or will they throw it away as seen as they return home?

To your success !

Jan


What Are Your Expectations When You Are Going To Events?

August 18, 2011

Many people in our workshops tell us that they don’t always feel comfortable when going to business events.

The main reason seems to be more about them than about the other participants.

These are some of the things they say to themselves:
– I’m probably not interesting enough.
– I’m not an expert so I don’t know enough to meaningfully contribute to a conversation.
– I don’t know any other people so other people will think I don’t belong here.
– I just graduated from college/university and don’t have enough experience yet so people won’t find me interesting to talk to.
– I’m not worthy of getting attention from other people.
– I’m an introvert so I lack social skills.

These are all judgments you have about yourself. 95% of the people you will meet, don’t think this way. The other 5% are probably not worth your time (and please don’t let them discourage you!)

The problem is that when you have these thoughts, the expectations you will have from attending an event will probably be low as well.

What the human mind does, is looking for confirmation of its thoughts.

So if your expectation is that nobody wants to talk to you (for whatever reason you have made up), you will look for the confirmation that they are not interested in you.

When someone looks briefly at you and then looks away, you might think they are not interested. The fact that they turn away makes you think they don’t want to talk to you.

However someone who expects that other people want to talk to him, will interpret this brief look as a sign of interest. He will notice the brief contact moment.

In other words: the way you expect things to happen will influence the results in a big way.

What do you expect when you go to events? That people will talk to you or not?

To your success !

Jan


Do You Have a Big Network or More Bridging Ties?

June 23, 2011

I just read an interesting article called “The Most Valuable People in Your Network” on the Harvard Business Review blog by Rob Cross.

Rob is also the author of “The Hidden Power of Social Networks – Understanding How Work Really Gets Done in Organizations“, which is a very good book about how Social Network Analysis or Organizational Network Analysis can be translated from the academic world to the business world.

In the article he describes a study done at a major consultancy company about sharing their knowledge using a social-bookmarking system.

One of the conclusions was:

“(The research team) sought to discover whether these systems could help employees be more innovative at work by helping them connect ideas from different contexts. What they found was that innovativeness had nothing to do with the number of bookmarks accessed or even the number of people an individual connected to through the bookmarking system. Employees that were rated as more innovative didn’t have bigger networks; rather, they had more bridging ties — ties that connected them to other employees who were themselves not connected.

Look at the article for a visual representation of what this actually means.

My question to you is: how about your network (internally or externally)? Are you someone who is the bridge between different networks?

To your success !

Jan


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