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How To Make Deals With Bigshots in Less Than 10 Minutes

Posted By Darren Rowse 19th of January 2009 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

This is a guest post from Laura Roeder, creator of The Dash.

As I’m writing this, I just got off the phone with the famous Gary V. We spoke for less than ten minutes and now a fun collaborative venture is underway. You should know that before today I had never spoken with or met Gary. In fact, before we scheduled this call he had no idea who I was!

No One Is Out Of Your League

I used to think that people like Gary were “out of my league”. If you feel the same way, you need to drop that ridiculous thought like a hot potato! Once I changed my view I started befriending some of the brilliant entrepreneurs that I used to admire from afar. No one is too important for you to contact. It’s always worth a shot, and if you follow the communication plan that I’ve outlined below your chances of success will be much higher.

Your Seven Step Communication Plan

Here is how to achieve the results you want in contacting important people, or proposing that people help you. Just use this step-by-step guide to model your call or email.

1. Keep the chit-chat to a minimum. Follow their lead if they want to make small talk later, but in the beginning you should get to the point quickly. If this feels awkward to you, start the call by saying “Alright, let’s get right to it!”

2. Do not assume that they know who you are or have read materials you’ve sent them. I started the conversation by asking Gary if he would like a brief overview of the project I was proposing. (I like to ask this first so that I don’t launch into a 10-minute spiel of information that they already know.) Do not take it personally if people have no clue who you are, they are taking the time to speak with you because they want to know who you are!

3. Tell them exactly what you’d like them to do; NEVER contact someone and say “Hey I thought we could do a joint venture, any ideas?” NO NO NO! Don’t make them work for you, always come from the position that you are working for them. The benefit is two-fold. One, they will be happy that you came to the table with something. Two, it is much easier to agree to an idea (especially an awesome one) than to think of an idea on your own. Make it easy for them to say yes! Which leads to my next point . . .

4. Give them an original, creative idea! How often do you think Gary is contacted with “Hey, why don’t you do a show on merlot!” That is BORING and he’s done it before. Don’t waste people’s time. Come to the table with something exciting, and do your research.

5. Ask if there’s anything else they would like to discuss. You are leading the conversation, not dominating it. Make sure you give them a chance to ask clarifying questions or throw in their own ideas.

6. GIVE NEXT STEPS! So many people overlook this and finish a call with “Um, then I guess we’ll get back in touch in a few months?” I ended my call with Gary by confirming exactly what both of our next steps would be. You need to take ownership of putting your plan into action.

7. Follow up with a thank you and a summary of your correspondence. Then follow up regularly via email, weekly or monthly as appropriate to the timeline you discussed. Following up is not bothersome, it is essential.

Laura Roeder is the founder of Roeder Studios, a boutique firm specializing in digital publicity. Her free program, The Dash, provides weekly step-by-step video instructions on how to rock out your web presence. To become a member, go to GetTheDash.com.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Milind says: 01/20/2009 at 2:37 pm

    hey thats a great blog … good xperience u had … thnks for sharing it, it can prove to b a great help to me in future

  2. I love this post! It seems like common knowledge – but to read it is a good reminder.

    I have the problem of jumping right into conversation and talking very quickly. I need to remember to slow down and relax..

    Thanks again!

  3. Excellent tips, I ve always wanted to work on a joint venture with someone already well known. I have a couple of ideas I am just waiting for my time, this should help me though.


  4. that’s good steps……to be focus on purpose and deal with our customer

  5. Good tips as always Darren!

  6. Hi Laura,

    I just wanted to say that you’ve outlined some great steps for connecting with someone! They’re straight and to-the-point and I’m sure very effective.

    The most important part (in my opinion) being the follow up! Do what you say you’re going to do when you’re going to do it. Deliver on that, and everything will work out great!

  7. This is a great post. Nothing beats aligning yourself with people who have successfully done what you are trying to do… some of it rubs off on you.

  8. The #4 idea is gerat, thanks!

  9. I want to connect with Darren and I’ve tried various means to do so. How does a little guy contact a big guy?

  10. After reading this article 5 times in detail, I am thinking to call Darren Rowse and Offer him my ideas :)

  11. When I first started blogging I was naive and reached out to so called well know SOCIAL people. I found that despite the picture they use and how they really look that they often lack even the basic skills like answering emails etc. I don’t glorify anyone now and if someone asked me a ? I’m going to answer.
    Blogging when your a no body can be disappointing and having a bunch of fake friends isn’t my cup of tea. I deal with people on my level and let the celebs do their thing.
    Congrats on that Traffic rush

  12. Excellent….I have a meeting with an airline company on online marketing…I think this will help me..

  13. Shannon says: 01/27/2009 at 10:07 am

    Laura, how you got a post on Problogger is beyond me. How long have you been doing PR? And now you’re considered an expert? PU-LEAZZE!

    Making connections and networking is what PR is all about, and you just figured this out last week? Duh!!!

  14. Thanks for the reminder. Don’t take it personal… it’s just business. I tend to forget that from time to time. Again, thanks.

  15. This is great advice. I’ve reached out to many authors and business figuring that I had nothing to lose just by asking for a moment of their time. In turn, I’ve received some great interviews and thousands of dollars of giveaway products.

    Really, it can’t hurt to ask and having a plan in place makes it even easier.

  16. This reminds me of a client whose FIRST client was Keebler (lucky for me). She said it just made sense to start at the top. Fortunately she was up to the task. I’ll never forget that.

  17. I like how you take ownership of the situation and handle every step of way with professionalism. I’ll be sure to try this next time i meet a big wig.

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