“Not all those who wander are lost.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Fellowship of the Ring”
A challenge I have maintaining my client list happens when contacts are no longer reachable. Personnel changes occur all the time; most people move from one job to another every two years. After they transition to their next job, my contact information for them is useless.
When a contact goes missing, my business with the company they left behind could potentially come to an unnecessary halt. I work hard to build relationships with clients, so I diligently attempt to get plugged back in to my client’s consciousness.
Think of it as going on an adventure with two positive outcomes in mind.
- Getting a New Client
- Meeting a New Contact
The Adventure Begins
Here’s the method I use to reconnect with a contact who has moved to another company, and to introduce myself to the person who replaced them.
Previous Contact: the Gateway to a New Client
When you find that a contact has gone wandering (moved to another company or seemed to have dropped off the face of the planet!) do the following.
- Locate where your contact landed. LinkedIn is probably the best resource for tracking professional status. Search for the contact’s name and the name of the last known company they worked for.
- When you find the name, send them a LinkedIn connection request, if you’re not already connected. Should you not find them, search their name with Google.
- Once you’ve established a connection, congratulate them on their move to a new job then ask for their new e-mail address. Offer to follow up with your complete contact details.
Previous Client: Say Hello to a New Contact
When a contact leaves a client company, there’s a hole to fill. Make a point of getting acquainted with the new person.
- After you reconnect with your contact who moved to a new company, ask them if they know the name of the person who replaced them at their previous company or the best contact for getting the information.
- If you were not able to reconnect with the contact or after reconnecting they didn’t know the name of the new person at their old company, make a call to the company you’re trying to reconnect with.
- Ask to talk with the person you want to reach by their title. “Hi, could you connect me to the Marketing Director?” Use whatever title your previous company contact had. Then, explain that you’re a voiceover talent who worked on projects for their company in the past. You’re calling to establish a connection with the new Marketing Director.
- Since the new person doesn’t know you, introductions are necessary. Once connected, let the new contact know you worked with their company before and are calling to exchange contact information. Ask for their e-mail address and offer to follow up with your complete contact details.
When you send the introductory e-mail with your contact details, ask the recipient to respond with a confirmation that they received your message and ask them to include their contact information in the reply.
If they don’t reply the same day, wait a few days and send them a follow up e-mail, “I’m following up to make sure you received my intro e-mail and contact information. I’d like to have up to date info for you, so please feel free to send your contact details.”
Rest After Your Adventure
It’s some work but the payoff is in the details, and it could be huge. I know from personal experience that the work is worth the time.
Do you have a different process? I’d like to hear about it. I’m looking for ways to improve mine.
© 2015 J. Christopher Dunn