For a small business owner to receive help from their network, they need to know the difference between the right and wrong way of asking for help. Here are five tips to help small business owners write the perfect networking email when asking for help:
- Do your homework
Before reaching out to anyone in your business network, owners must familiarise themselves with what is going on in that person’s life. If you’re writing a casual email, this should take no longer than 20 minutes. Investigate if there is any recent news about their company, check out their personal blog, take a look at their LinkedIn profile to see if you have any connections in common, and also check out their social profiles if they have one.
- Refer to how you met (if necessary)
Refer to how you met this contact in the subject line of the email so it stands out. Some subject line examples include:
‘Nice meeting you at the (name of conference).’
‘Your recent blog post on how to network like a professional was most informative.’
- Make your point clear
Make sure the point of your email is clear. Don’t make it difficult for people to work out why you are contacting them or how they can help you out.
- Always offer value
There is nothing worse than sending off an email that discusses how nice it was to meet that person and provides information about how good your business is. Instead of trying to sell something, owners should always be seeking ways to offer value. For example, owners could attach a valuable industry article or share information that can help the received sold a problem.
- Be flexible
Always keep in mind that the person you are reaching out to is likely to be very busy. Explain that you are willing to work around their schedule and their communication preference. Some people would rather help our via email over meeting for coffee.