With CEDIA EXPO on my mind, I was doing some pre-show planning and strategizing and came up with some great ideas that involved reaching out to people I haven’t been in regular communication with for some time. I think we’ve all been there – you need someone’s help and you feel weird that you haven’t called them or emailed them for two years. Or ten! But life happens and so I want to share a few thoughts on how I navigated that odd feeling this past week.
Bring a gift. Mother always said, “When you go visiting, always bring a gift.” Listen, you don’t want to be that person who only contacts someone when you need something. Don’t focus solely on your own needs, but look for a reciprocal benefit for who you’re reaching out to. That just takes some homework – everyone appreciates help in raising their visibility and access to hard-to-reach people, which are just a few things you might consider bringing to the table.
Acknowledge the lack of contact. So you haven’t talked to this person in quite a while. But they haven’t reached out either! So add a bit of humor and a “long time no talk” to your re-introduction and then move on. I always add a little bit about what I’ve been up to recently and then get to the point of why I’m reaching out to reconnect.
Say thank you. Whether or not the two of you agree that you can collaborate or scratch each other’s back, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their time and the opportunity to catch up. A personal thank you note or even a small gift goes a long way when you want someone to know how much you appreciate the time they’ve given you.
Stay connected. Now that you’ve reconnected, stay connected! Reaching out to someone you haven’t chatted with in a long time doesn’t have to be awkward or uncomfortable if you approach them with honesty and an opportunity they might just want to take advantage of. It will make the ask that much easier, uncomplicated with needless drama.