The Art of Seduction—It's Just Business
"More often than not, they are so relieved that you have reached out, you will not only get a response, but it may well include the golden words."
This is where you come in - you should never be the sort of strategic communicator to allow the passage of time to hinder your potential. It's time to get into your e-mail 'TIME MACHINE' (Look, CAPITALS - it must be important!).
Go to your inbox, click on the scroll bar on the right hand side and swipe it down - FAST. Travel back four, five even six months and then just stop. You are suddenly back in March 2010. (No hurricanes, no oil spills, Greece still had some Euros - good times).
Start checking through your e-mail correspondence of that time, what was looking good, where was the potential, who have you totally forgotten about??
Pick 3 or 4 people and reach out.
Put yourself back on their radar.
You should apologize for "being out of touch", after all you've been "crazy busy" and instead of asking for business or suggesting you pick up where you left off, send them an interesting article from some cool website - maybe the latest iPad & Cat video or something about their industry. In fact, the more relevant to your target you can make that offering, the more ‘points’ you win!
More often than not, they are so relieved that you have reached out, you will not only get a response, but it may well include the golden words: "Actually we were just thinking about you and were wondering if you could come in and help with a project...." etc.
They really weren't "just thinking about you", but your message jogs their memory, makes it safe and re-kindles the interest.
Don't forget to return to the present day though - time travel can be a challenging mission, after all you don't want to stop yourself from ever being born!!
READ AN EXCERPT FROM 'THE ART OF BUSINESS SEDUCTION'
Chapter 9: Techniquette— The Etiquette of Technology
9.5.2 Demanding Notification
Do not demand a read-response to every single e-mail you send out. People get irritated when someone electronically demands to know if your e-mail has been read or not. "Adam has requested a confirmation that you read this e-mail. Would you like to respond?" No, I would not. Many people find this intrusive and unnecessary.
There is a smarter, more covert method of achieving the same objective, however, without causing any inconvenience or letting anyone know what you are up to.
One such solution comes from didtheyreadit.com. Once you sign up for the service (which is free), you are able to send e-mails through their servers. They arrive at your target's inbox with no sign of their hidden spy mechanism or the fact that they have been routed through these servers.
Once your e-mail is opened, you receive a confirmation e-mail from didtheyreadit.com. Better than that, the e-mail tells you how long your e-mail was read for, where (geographically) it was viewed, and how many times it was opened.
Too cynical and secretive for you? Don't do it, then. However, be aware that these secretive tables have already been turned on you. Plus, this covert measure doesn't make you seem needy or demanding. As far as the recipient knows, you're a cool customer. Remember back to the introduction: seduction is all about playing a role.
E-mail is more convenient than picking up the phone because it allows you to briefly touch on points without having to endure the small talk. So, in keeping with the convenience factor, your e-mails should be concise and succinct. You don't want people to cringe when they see your name in their in-box or fear having to read through an incoherent and long-winded discourse. Every e-mail you send is a reflection of who you are and the value you have to offer, so don't squander an opportunity to impress. Whenever you have a chance to move the needle on the scale in your favor and gain control in any relationship, you have to capitalize on it. Who knows when the next chance will present itself.
Your e-mails have a brand value. This value can rise as well as fall. If you start to forward every half-baked e-joke and monkey video that appears in your inbox, the brand value of your e-mails will drop as fast as the Dow Jones after a hike in unemployment.
Be very selective when deciding to forward jokes to your friends, colleagues, and clients. Ensure that when someone receives something like this from you that it's a rarity and something they will definitely find funny and just might instigate a conversation or exchange that builds even more trust in your relationship.
9.5.5 Check Your Privacy Settings
Whether using Facebook, MySpace, or some other social networking tool—you need to be fully in charge of the images and words that you post up there. There are many privacy settings to choose from and it is imperative that you select the right level of security so that all those crazy photos and comments that you add from the social side of your life can't be found on the business side of your life. The fact is, no matter what job or contract you are going for, people will google you. You will be searched! The question is, what will they find?
Take a moment out now to discover that for yourself. Go off and Bing or google your own name in quote marks—if there are millions of results, narrow it down by adding your company name or school name and see what others will find. If you are not happy, make some changes, delete some images, and feel stronger about protecting your personal and business online brand.
9.5.6 More on Brand Value
Each and every message you send has value and a purpose, so always try to maximize the impact. I try, wherever possible, to add a nugget of information, such as a link to a story, or a dash of gossip to ensure that when people read my e-mails they are getting two things—I want them to know they are receiving a message relevant to whatever our deal is, and they are also getting a message tailored specifically to them.
For example, I know one particular colleague who is a total airline obsessive. Every time I e-mail him, I attach a link to a cool new photo of the inside of the Airbus A380 or yet another prototype airplane. Another of my colleagues was having a few health issues, so in addition to some information he had requested on my coaching techniques, I sent him a newly published list of specialized doctors who may be of some use to him. These added gems help me improve the brand value of my messages. People know that, when they open my mail, they are going to get something extra. And this little something extra will no doubt leave a lasting impression as I strengthen our connection by showing I care about more than just our business relationship.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.(www.wiley.com) from THE ART OF BUSINESS SEDUCTION: A 30-Day Plan to Get Noticed, Get Promoted, and Get Ahead by MARK JEFFRIES Copyright (c) 2010 by MARK JEFFRIES
About the author:Former Merrill Lynch Stockbroker, Mark Jeffries was shaken out of the financial markets back in the early 1990’s. Not one to sit around and wait, he successfully re-invented himself into a broadcaster in the UK and one of the world’s leading experts in communication and soft skills.
He is a much sought after speaker regularly addressing audiences from companies like IBM, HP, Zurich Insurance, Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada, Microsoft, Software AG and SAS - all around the word - and can be seen regularly on NBC’s Today Show, Fox Business, ABC News and across Europe on Sky News.
Organizations seek out his unique insight, ideas and techniques to help their own people dramatically improve their game – and now it’s all to be found in his new book “The Art of Business Seduction”.