As we grow in our careers, we may find it helpful to rekindle a distant connection. You may find yourself in a position where it would be helpful to approach a vina you haven’t talked to for a while for a professional request. Just because you haven’t chatted in a bit doesn’t mean you should shy away! Here are a few steps to take when reaching out with a request:
1. REMIND YOUR VINA HOW THEY KNOW YOU
Casually drop the hint of how you know her, just incase it has been so long and she really doesn’t remember where she knows you from. This is especially important when you have been networking and may have only met a few times. You can try something along the lines of “It’s been so long since chemistry class!” if you met at school, or “I haven’t talked to Michelle in a while, have you?” if you met through a mutual friend.
2. ASK YOUR VINA HOW SHE’S DOING
You don’t want to seem too needy or make someone feel like you’re using them. Express a little bit of interest in her life, and ask how she is doing. If you are personal friends with this vina, maybe comment on something you saw on social media recently. Maybe your vina just got back from an interesting trip, or recently adopted a pet. Express a little bit of interest into what she has going on; don’t immediately ask your request before giving her a second to breathe.
3. CUT TO THE CHASE
On the other hand, while you do want to express interest, you don’t want to waste your vina’s time. If you wait between too much small talk to ask your request, your vina might start to feel used, and she may think that you weren’t genuinely interested in talking to her again. Open up with asking how they have been, but then get right to what you’re looking for.
4. CONSIDER WHAT YOU CAN OFFER IN RETURN
Depending on the request, think about a worthy exchange for your request. It could be new business for her company, but it could also be a cup of coffee to thank her for her time. For example, if you are asking your vina to speak at an event, a lunch date would be an appropriate “thank you”. Don’t just ask for a favor and disappear!
If you are writing a message rather than calling your vina up, all four steps could be an entire LinkedIn message, or email. As an example:
“Hi Michelle! It’s been a while since business finance, how are you? I saw that you and the guy finally got engaged – congratulations!
I actually had a quick question about the design firm where you work. You guys do small business websites, right? I was wondering if I could get a quote for my company – we are looking for someone to redesign our site!”
Remember- your request can be benificial to the person you’re asking, so don’t feel bad for reaching out even if you haven’t talked for a while. The absolute worst that can happen is that she says no, in which case you’re right back where you started.
Have you ever reached out to a distant vina? Let us know what worked for you in the comments!
(Feature image via ShopStyle)