It was 5:15pm on a Friday evening when I received his call.
He told me his name, then said;
“Hi Jim, I read your blog and have a site which I would like you to link to.”
Now, he seemed like a nice guy, but I had no idea who he was – Just what he wanted from me. I have no idea what his site was about, whether it was packed with malware, filled to the brim with viruses, overflowing with inaccurate content or even if it was legal. There was clearly no way I would link to it. All I know is that he called me, at the end of business, on a Friday and completely unprepared.
A little forward planning goes a long way.
- If you want link exchanges from strangers, it’s probably best to go to spammy looking sites that are already full of links. (BTW: NEVER link to people you don’t know!)
- If you want someone to listen to you, it’s probably best not to call them at end of business, on a Friday evening.
- If you want someone to understand your message, it’s probably best to plan what you are going to say in advance; rather than call them with a poorly targeted request that is 100% guaranteed to fail.
- If you make your first communication with a stranger, a direct request for them to give you something, you will find a lot of doors closing in your face.
Although this was an extreme example of how not to get what you want, I see many people make at least one of those errors every day. If we want our requests to be taken seriously, we need to be a lot more measured and professional in how we approach people. No one really gives a rats-ass what YOU want, which is why we can’t just demand our way to success. We need to work WITH people. We need to form relationships. We need to show OUR willingness to help and support others.
Then maybe, just maybe, people will feel that they want to help us too.
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