In public relations, there is a rule called “the Rule of Seven,” which also applies to following up. According to the rule, it takes seven steps, calls or emails, to actually get a booking. Expect six no’s before you get a yes – – – or, after seven attempts, you may never get a yes and have to move on. Whenever they say no, be gracious. A no may be no for now, but not forever. Never burn bridges.
When you’re following up, it may not take seven calls or emails to connect with your contact; he/she may cut you off after just one. Nevertheless, be prepared to make seven honest attempts. If, after giving it seven whole-hearted tries, you haven’t connected, move on. Rethink your options and go to Plan B. Move that contact to your C List. Drop him/her an occasional email or postal mailing to remain on his/her radar screen, but bypass him/her and get on with your life.
Although your contact may not need or want to see you now, be professional. Proceed with dignity and respect for your contact’s time. Networking is a long-term process, not just quick hit or miss shot. It’s about how you live your life, how you treat others and most people will notice. By being understanding, patient and principled, doors will remain open for you and sometime in the future you could connect.
When you receive rejections, when contacts don’t respond favorably, don’t become discouraged or upset. Don’t get angry or give up. Instead, turn to other sources, focus your energy on other contacts and keep on plugging! Building and maintaining relationships takes patience, persistence and principles. It also takes following up, following up, following up – – – but it can get you the pot of gold.
Reprinted from “Rick Frishman‘s Author101 Newsletter”
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