Another important piece of the networking puzzle is understanding how to write a networking email introduction. Your approach is what separates the emails that get answered from those that are easily forgotten.
To help you be successful, here are 3 key tips to writing a response-worthy networking email introduction:
1. Create Commonality.
When writing a cold networking email introduction, having a point of commonality with the other person is essential. Why? Because you’ll immediately become more familiar to them.
If they can see you as a version of their younger self, you’ve already made a powerful connection. Of course it’s great if you find out you went to the same college or are from the same hometown/region, but that’s not necessary. The connection doesn’t have to be personal to be effective. What is it about their professional background that is compelling you to write to them? Perhaps you both obtained a Master’s degree in Chemistry and you’re trying to transition into marketing just like they did. Or maybe they made the leap from being an employee to owning their own business, and you’re looking for advice on how to do the same. Whatever it is, find that connection and begin with it in your networking email introduction.
2. Articulate What You Admire About Them.
Flattery will get you everywhere. Okay seriously though, has this person written articles on LinkedIn that you’ve read and can reference? Does he or she have a creative portfolio that you think is stunning? Maybe s/he spoke at an event you attended and you missed the opportunity to introduce yourself in person. You must find a way to articulate something you admire about them that is also compelling you to seek them out specifically over other people at their firm or in their industry. It’s hard not to reply to a genuine compliment that is coupled with a simple ask. Which brings me to the following point…
3. Ask For Nothing More Than Insight.
Flattery may indeed get you far, but asking for help to land an interview off the bat is inappropriate. That’s too big of an ask for someone who doesn’t know anything meaningful about you. Save that favor for later once you’ve had a more in-depth meeting. Instead, ask for insight. Insight is invaluable and easily given. Consider the below questions when drafting your networking email introduction:
What is it like to work for XYZ department or company?
Would someone with my background ever be considered?
Is an MBA needed to get to the next level in my career, or is another course of study preferred?
Asking questions that require information rather than action are easier for your contact to deliver on. Work on getting a response first and building the relationship before moving on to the bigger asks.