Alex's Tech Thoughts

Dropping Names In Blind Reach Outs

I’ve gotten this a few times. Someone reaches out to me and says they either got my name from someone or that we have a mutual friend in common. And while I try to respond to every email that comes my way, when I get these I shake my head a bit.

The reason being, when you drop someone’s name in a blind reach-out, you don’t realize, but the other side is thinking, ‘well, if this person has a mutual friend, why isn’t that person making a proper introduction?’ Meaning, if you do have a mutual friend, or if someone did say that you should reach out and say they sent you, why didn’t they take the moment to actually connect the dots?

So next time you are thinking of dropping a name in a blind reach-out, remember the person on the other end is asking themselves why that person didn’t personally put you in touch.

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Cold Reach-Outs: Less Is More

This past week I worked with Brian Kil, a NYC intern for Dwolla, on having more success with cold reach-outs.

Dwolla just released a new tool called MassPay and we are identifying companies to reach out to. We worked on a general template. It was short, sweet, and to the point. After sending it out to a few companies and getting responses, Brian said something to the effect of, “Wow, I guess less is really more.”

This reminded me that in the case of reaching out to someone you don’t know, you need to remember that the goal of the call or email is for the individual to give you the time of day. If your expectation is that they will buy whatever you are selling— you need to dream on. They don’t know you. They don’t care.

When reaching out, your goal is to get them to give you more time to properly pitch/sell them. The cold reach-out isn’t the sell, it’s the tease to get to the sell. Keeping your email short and intriguing will get them to ask for more.

Bottom line: Next time you are thinking about blindly reaching out to someone, remember that less is more. Your only goal is to get them to respond. Take the process one step at a time.

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