An underused tactic for leads is manufacturing them on your own. Doing this is simpler than you think and can be as effortless as sending a short note.
Recently I discovered that a colleague of mine had received a promotion. I hadn’t seen him for years and thought I should reach out via email... “Congratulations on your promotion and new role. I bet you’ll be able to leverage your experience with <<>> and <<>> that you were working on when we collaborated years ago. Once the dust settles, we should chat about something I’ve started doing for more a dozen North American utilities. Pretty sure it would help you get real traction in your new role.” It wasn’t long before we connected by phone and had a very productive 45-minute conversation. It was just that easy!
So, as you scan your favorite market segments’ trade publications, your inbox or connected LinkedIn profiles, keep an eye on who has been promoted, won awards or completed something satisfying or positive recently. These are golden opportunities to get in touch and open the door to a conversation. Believe me, you’ll stand apart from the crowd. In my personal experience the number of people who make an effort to reach out and congratulate you in the wake of a promotion or similar career transition can be counted on one hand. In some cases, you might be the only one reaching out at all!
Think about it – how unprofessional would it be to receive a congratulatory email and not have the courtesy to reply? My experience has been that they almost always reply. And when they do, it's no longer a cold call.
There are definite benefits to manufacturing your own “warm leads” through this brand of research and observation. Which would you rather do: dial thousands of numbers from the Yellow Pages to get 20 people to pick up or spend a few hours of research to find people who would actually benefit from having a conversation with you? Finding the most promising potential connections makes all the difference in the world.