Yesterday I presented the problem, today I present a quasi-solution (my life is all about quasi-solutions). Read the problem here (make sure to read the excellent comments)… the following is an example (with real people, real stuff – this assumes that Carl Chapman introduced me to Susan Strayer). If you are a blogger I invite you to write your own example on your blog and my readers can benefit from your wisdom 😉 (here’s one from Noah Kagan at OKDork.com (thanks for the link Phil!))
Carl, thanks for the introduction!
Susan, I have been following your blogs for a while and have been interested in getting in touch with you. I’m glad that Carl hooked us up. Its pretty admirable that you have put out this book while in the middle of an MBA program. When I got my MBA it was really strenuous, so I have a little idea of what you are going through – but I didn’t write a book during that time!
I’d like to introduce myself so you can get a better idea of what I do. I’d love to know if there is anything that I can help you with. My background is in IT, specifically in internet applications. I have been in this field for about nine years and have programmed for a good portion of that but my love is in business strategy. I have always had a passion for helping solve regular problems for regular people and love to help users do mundane things better.
Enough about me – I noticed your post today about the Home Depot exit package for the CEO (?). It was a really good post and made me rethink my position on executive compensation. I have a few thoughts for your blog that I think could really improve it. If you are interested just let me know and I’ll shoot over a list of things I came up with.
I’d like to know if there is anything I can help you with, in your book promotion, or your blogging, or whatever. Please let me know what I can do for you – I look forward to hearing from you,
- Please please please include both people in the e-mail. It does 2 things: First, it lets Carl know that you are acting on the introduction (this is HUGE). Second, it puts a subtle pressure on Susan to respond (not that you are out to pressure people, but its a reality).
- This may be disjointed – I didn’t get good grades in English, but it works for me. I’m sure it could be better.
- I don’t put “Dear” and “Sincerely”. I’ve never felt comfortable with that and i wonder if it is a generation thing?
- Keep the “about me” rather short – this is your only chance for a first impression, and you don’t want to impress that you are a blabbering novelist :p
- In the third paragraph I’m trying to be helpful, offering help but not giving it because (a) I don’t know if this person is going to care, or be offended and (b) the list could be long and detract from the purpose of this e-mail. If they reply back I’ll shoot back a list of things, otherwise I’ll let it go at that.
- Finally a call to action – I’ve been kind of bad at this in the past where I write an e-mail that basically amounts to “cool. Nice to meet you.” But it should be something that invites the person to move the relationship forward a bit, one step at a time.
So there you go. Perhaps I’ll shoot this link to someone the next time I do an introduction 🙂