Two Templates for Contacting Important People and Learning from Them

perhaps you want an interview with the head of a company or a celebrity, or someone likely too busy to acknowledge you. maybe you’d like to learn how someone did something, or get feedback on a project/business idea with someone seemingly higher up the “chain”.

PERHAPS your e-mailing an owner of a website to ask their feedback on something. (I’m looking at you random e-mailers to check out your info graphic or link to your site)

here are two tactics taken from tim ferris during a Mixergy interview a while back i’ve found useful that enable you to get that information quickly.

the interview, actually quite hilarious as andrew (interviewer) completely and accidentally ends up insulting tim, and having to apologize, recovers expertly and pulls out some awesome business tactics for us to learn from.

small excerpt to peak your interest:

“Tim: I think saying lying and cheating as an introduction is actually extremely unfair of you.

Andrew: Oh, I’m so sorry.

Tim: I don’t know how much alcohol you’ve had.”

ha! anyway, you can listen to that interview through Mixergy Premium here: http://mixergy.com/tim-ferriss-live-interview/

i’ve used these tactics successfully to network, enroll important clients, and reach out to busy individuals. they are useful when you see someone’s success you want to emulate. i’m recording them to this project as i progress and this has now almost becomes natural.

how to pick a brain with nothing to offer

–short e-mail, state who you are, state that you don’t know me, provide a short credibility statement.
–i’m doing X
–i’ve tried a,b,c, methods, here’s credentials
–it would mean the world to me if you could help me out with
—2 VERY short questions
–even if your response is 2 sentences, that would be fantastic

if you get a response, tell them, thanks, i will try this on date X, and get back to you. it should go without saying, you need to have some reason for talking to this person that can provide value to you, and is usually best if readily applicable to an active project or business idea. you can’t simply “think they are smart” (one does not simply walk into mordor) and want to contact them, it becomes obvious your attempt is a “throw away” and not appealing to respond to.

get people to open up by being interested, not being interesting

–short e-mail, state who you are, state you don’t know me, and give a short credibility statement.
–i’m doing X
–express weaknesses that are in the vein of what this person cares about (do your research)
—open up line “i’m having some real trouble with X, can you offer two lines of response?”

if you get a response, tell them, thanks, i will try this on date X, and get back to you.

this was all part of a bigger question about how to accomplish anything, which is about breaking down processes in the shortest time, (speed learning or assimilating skills and information). a critical part in doing that, is learning from people (using tactics above) who are already superb at what you are trying to accomplish.

breaking down a process for the shortest route from point a to point b

-find the best prototypical example
-talk to those examples, ask them to site the anomalies, the people like you
–go talk to anomalies if i can repeat what they did
—break down what they did to as little as many steps as possible
—-test
—-get better
—–see if you can replicate
——share, teach, train
 
the above makes doing anything sound simple, which i guess in methodology it is, but each of these stages could foreseeably take months or even years.

there they are. take these two templates, stick them in your online notebook, google canned responses, or toutapp and use when needed.

carry on! business updates soon to come on what’s working and not with my online business IT Arsenal, which has steadily albeit slowly, done better and better over the last two years and continually puts me in position to have more freedom and fun.

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  • http://www.itarsenal.com/ Rob

    Andrew, it was obvious in context that you we’re just making light of all the “haters” who talk trash about Tim but he was caught off guard so it played out weird. I guess since he hears the trash talk for real, there’s a level of mental defense he needs to have “always on”.

    You handled it well, got serious, said sorry and moved on, expertly done. I found the interview incredibly useful and entertaining as evidenced by my own notes! If anything, I think it ups the value!

  • http://mixergy.com Andrew Warner

    So painful to even read that transcript. I was trying to make fun of all the people who put Tim down. I was trying to show absurd it was. I guess it didn’t come out the way I meant for it to.