In an earlier post, Are You Struggling with Rejection, I discussed the truth we seem to always forget: we don’t know anything until we ask.

Even if people do not respond or they tell you ‘no’ you won’t regret or wonder what may have happened had you made the attempt. If you want to connect and build relationships with influential people that create opportunities for future business – you must summon up the courage and take the chance.

Educate yourself about the people you want to meet before you approach them. There is no excuse for not taking a few minutes and learning about someone in advance and using those facts. This is not about you and ‘pitching’ yourself. This is about them and how well you fit into their world.

Not too long ago I read a great blog post from expert sales speaker and author Jill Konrath.  Jill talked about getting an email that said something like: “Can you put me in touch with the person at your company who does your website development, design, etc.”

Being a small business owner (she outsources almost everything) there is no “person” in a cubicle in Jill’s office heading up website development. As Jill put it, if this salesperson had taken a moment to learn about her and reviewed her website, that would have been immediately obvious. Can you say, ‘delete?’

I’ve had similar emails and calls. Ignorance is no longer a valid excuse.

All the information you could ever need on someone is online.  A better approach would’ve been, “Jill, I visited your website. You have a ton of great information for salespeople. Not sure who handles your website design but…” You get the idea.

Laziness will never be rewarded and in today’s world of social selling and social networking.

You want to meet influential people? Learn about them.

Then take a chance.

Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW 

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