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.


Lead By Example by Sending Magic Mails

September 29, 2011

Two weeks ago I wrote a blog post about leading by example to get more referrals.

I explained to look for ways to help someone (in this case the person you want a referral from) by introducing or referring them to someone who is interesting to them. In this way they will experience themselves how this works and reap the benefits. Not only will they be more open to help you, but they will also understand how to do it.

The “tool” we advise to use is called the Magic Mail.

The Magic Mail is actually a “normal” email in which you introduce two people to each other.

Why do I call it the “Magic” Mail?

Because the results can be magical!

Its primary function is that the receiver of the email experiences that you took time and made an effort (so it must be important enough). Besides the Know, Like, Trust factor is also transferred, creating the foundation of a potential relationship between the two people.

Of course it depends on the relationship between you and the two people you introduce whether there just a few sparkles of magic or huge fireworks.

To your success !

Jan


7 Types Of Conditioning that Might Destroy Your Networking Results

July 8, 2010

I wrote in my blog post of last week that according to Donna Fisher there are 7 types of conditioning that can influence your networking effectiveness without you even realizing it. This is an overview of these 7 types and an invitation to look at them in a different way.

“Don’t talk to strangers”

This is wise advice for a small child who doesn’t know how to make the distinction between right or wrong. However, as an adult, the situation is different. Talking to people you haven’t met before opens the doors to a wide variety of opportunities.

“Be strong”

Some people think being strong means not asking for help, doing everything on their own and being other people’s saviour or hero. But “being strong” really means is knowing what you want and asking others to help you reach your goals.

“Be a big boy” or “Be a big girl”

Too many people confuse being childlike (and being play- and joyful) with being childish. The enthusiasm of a child is a great character trait at any age!

“You can’t trust others”

Most of us have one or more negative experiences with misplaced trust. This may have been very painful and it can also be the reason for never trusting anyone again. However, a life of not trusting is not much of a life. Learn to bring people who are worthy of your trust in your network and be trustworthy yourself.

“Don’t bother that person”

If you were ever told not to bother people, this thought may have been internalised as “You are a bother” or “What you want is not important” or “Others are more important”. And this internal belief could prohibit you unconsciously to contact others. But you are not a bother. People are only a bother when they are selfish or inappropriate with their words, timing, actions or behaviours. It’s OK to call people. People want to contribute. And especially when you can call on them in such a way that they feel acknowledged and included. They will be happy to help you.

“Don’t depend on others”

If you heard this as a child, this probably came from the mouth of someone who had a painful encounter with misplaced trust. However it is good advice if it means that you should take your life in your own hands instead of depending on parents, a partner or social security. You don’t have to fully rely on others. But I encourage you to have an interdependent attitude. Look for ways you can help others and how they can help you.


“Don’t let yourself be hurt”

This is also probably the reaction of someone who has been hurt by someone else and is reluctant to trust other people. But no matter what you do, you can’t protect yourself from ever getting hurt, disappointed or misunderstood again. But when you give with no strings attached, without conditions and without expecting anything in return, you cannot be “used”. You run the risk of feeling used when you give more than you can afford to give (financially, mentally or emotionally) and you expect or even need something in return. Give only what you can afford to give and feel good about giving.

So when these conditioned phrases come into your mind, take a step back and think of what really is going on.

To your success !

Jan

PS: this is an excerpt from my book “Let’s Connect!” which offers more detailed ways how to deal with these 7 types. You can download a free light version of the networking book Let’s Connect in English (or het netwerk boek Let’s Connect in Dutch)


Fundamental Principle of Networking: The Networking Attitude

May 27, 2009

In order to get results when networking online and offline, it is important to take into account some fundamental principles. One of them is the networking attitude.

In my networking book “Let’s Connect!” I already defined the networking attitude as:

“Sharing information in a reactive and proactive way without expecting anything immediately in return.”

Let’s have a more detailed look at this definition:

Information: in this definition “information” refers to both very general and very specific knowledge. For example, how to record a television program with a video recorder. Or the specific code of the newest software programming language. “Information” is also about business issues, like sales leads, and about simple day-to-day stuff (like “what are the opening hours of the supermarket”). In a professional environment “information” is, for example, a job opening, a sales lead, a new supplier or employee, opportunities for partnerships, interesting training courses or tips to work more efficiently.

Sharing: this involves two parties. Networking is not a one-way street, but a two-or more way boulevard. It is always about a win-win situation, in which all parties are satisfied. What’s important in this concept is that you are comfortable with both giving help and making requests.

In a reactive and pro-active way: in the first place this means that you offer information or help when you are asked to do so (reactive). But it goes further than that. You can send people information and connect them to each other, without them asking to do this (pro-active). But, of course, make sure you don’t SPAM them. A good approach could be to let them know you have this information and that you are willing to share it. Especially when you don’t know people well, this might be a non-confrontational approach.

Without expecting anything immediately in return: in this era of short-term benefits it’s not a concept that’s immediately embraced by everybody. Let me also stress it is NOT about giving your own products or services away. It is about everything else: what is your attitude when dealing with people. Though it might be hard for some people, this is the one attitude that works best in the long run. This builds trust and makes you more “attractive” to other people.

By giving without expecting anything immediately in return, you will eventually receive much more than your initial “investment.” But you never know from whom or when. And that’s something many people have difficulties with. In our training courses this is always the start of a lively discussion because only a few people see how they can realize this without investing lots of time and money. We’ll see later in this book how we can deal with that and how LinkedIn can help us.

Remember that networking is a long-term game that always involves 2 or more players. You reap what you’ve sown. So start sowing (sharing) so you can reap more and faster!

Not knowing and applying the networking attitude is reason number one why people feel that LinkedIn doesn’t work for them. Because they are only focused on themselves they don’t receive help from other people and get frustrated with the lack of positive responses.

To your success !

Jan

PS: this is an excerpt from the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (of in het Nederlands: Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Make sure you download your FREE light version.


Use a second business card to improve your results at networking events

February 24, 2007

In the post “Second Business Card” I mentioned to use a second business card to share your interests and information about yourself with other people so you can really connect with them.

You can also use a second business card to improve your results at events you attend.

For example:
– When attending a seminar: to share your learning goals with other people and the reason you attend. You will experience that they will want to help you.
– When exhibiting at a fair: to mention other exhibitors that the people you encounter should visit (make this business card together with the other exhibitors mentioned on the card)
– When you are an author: to mention one or more of your books (usually there is no or little room for this on your official business card)
– In general: to list the people you are looking for or want to meet. You never know who you might encounter who knows them personally !
– In general: to share tips about the subject you’re an expert in (tips you have written yourself)
– In general: to share useful resources (websites, magazines, people, training courses,…)
– In general: to mention one or more of your products or services (usually there is no or little room for this on your official business card). You can also adapt this to the type of event you are going to as an exhibitor or a visitor.
– In general: to mention all the (free) articles, documents, advices, e-courses, music or video clips or other useful information people can find at your website

The advantage of using a business card instead of a flyer is that people find this less intrusive, it is cheaper and you still will be remembered better than most of the other people they met.

Have a great networking day !

Jan


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