You may have experienced instances where your networking has turned into some kind of waiting game. You’ve attended the events, talked to the people, went online to connect with them further, and after all that, nothing else happens.

You might have even gone the extra mile and made sure you connected with the right people, and you’ve been looking forward to hearing back from them. However, for some reason, it’s just not happening.

It’s either these people truly are super busy and they just don’t have any spare time on their hands, or they’re not moved enough by your messaging. In other words, there can be a possibility that your messaging may not be convincing or engaging enough for them to get back to you with a proper response.

In truth, getting people to respond to you when you reach out to them is one of the trickiest parts of networking – even more so if you want to meet up with them. However, it’s definitely not impossible.

What You Can Do to Encourage People to Respond or Meetup with You

As a general rule, always keep in mind that these people are most likely busy with their own professional and personal responsibilities. Thus, you have to make it clear that you won’t be wasting their time, and make sure you keep true to your word!

That being said, here’s what you can do:

1) Give a compliment

Everyone likes to hear a compliment every once in a while, as it’s always nice to hear someone acknowledging your accomplishments or best qualities. However, make sure you are sincere in your compliment, and not make them feel as if you’re just sugarcoating.

2) State your reason for reaching out

This helps the people you’re reaching out to determine whether they can spare some of their time to talk to you. It also helps separate you from other messages they may be getting in their inboxes (such as promotional messages, newsletters, etc.).

3) Get to the point with your ask

When you’re reaching out, make sure you are 100% clear about what you’re going to ask, and what you want to get out of reaching out. The more straight-to-the-point and specific you are the more time you save for yourself and for the person you’re reaching out to.

4) Make your ask easy to say “yes” to

People are more likely to be open to responding or meeting with you if you make the situation more convenient for them. This means giving them the amount of time you would need from them, I suggest 10-20 minutes, as well as allowing them to pick their most preferred method of communication (phone, video call, in person meetups, etc.). If you’re meeting them in person, make sure to pick a location that is convenient for them.

5) Focus on seeking advice first

Another good technique is to ask for advice or insights first when reaching out instead of going straight to asking for referrals or job opportunities. This helps build an initial rapport with your connection, and if you’re able to hit it off, they’ll eventually become more comfortable giving you referrals or opportunities.

6) Keep your message short and sweet

I recommend a message that’s only around 200 words and can be read in 2 minutes. I also encourage you to be authentic and show some effort into your reaching out messages. Essentially, doing a generic email blast is not something that’ll entice a person to agree to connect with you.

Test This Out!

Start composing your reaching out message with these guidelines in mind and try sending them out on LinkedIn, email, or whichever communication platform you prefer.

Let me know how your results go in the comments below, or comment if you have other tips you want to share about how to reach out to people!