Casey Kasem was an American disc jockey, music historian, radio celebrity, voice actor and he immortalized ‘America’s Top 40’ which you guessed it, was that week’s top 40 pop songs. His soft, energetic and unmistakable voice still brings back fond memories.
The ‘Top 40’ was exactly that – a hit list. Can we apply this to Networking?
Of course. We can prepare our ‘Top 40’ – a hit list of people to call and to connect with.
Your ‘Top 40’ is your list of 40 people you’d like to stay in touch with over the next twelve months where you feel (you’ll never be 100% certain) they may help you with a new job, your business, sales or leads. Include past clients and network contacts that have helped your business in the last while and recent contacts that know a great deal of targets.
Call them; either text them or leave a voice message if they don’t answer. Send them a birthday greeting. Personalize an email or send an interesting article indicating that you were ‘thinking of them’. Essentially, you are setting yourself apart from others. Be different, since you are trying to grab their attention. When they receive a call or email from you they will think about you for few seconds and you’ll be on ‘top of mind’ as we say in Marketing.
No more than two weeks after you reached out to them, CALL them (not email) and see what’s going on and ask them if they’ve received your note. Now that you’ve warmed them up and maintained top of mind awareness, it’s the ideal time to set up a quick meeting or lunch to talk about their business, how you can help them and yes, discuss a potential collaboration, opportunities, advice and contacts that you are drumming up.
If lunch is out of the question, then suggest a short ‘catch up for a coffee,’ since selling over the phone never works. The coffee meeting may uncover business or perhaps ‘Paul I was just thinking about you the other day and I wanted to call you’. This has happened to me at least 100 times.
Why is awareness so important? Well, you developed a relationship, or sold something to these contacts. By keeping their awareness level high, there’s a good chance they’ll think about you the next time your services are required – by them or one of their contacts.
Last year I came up with 26 names out of 40 and they kept me busy. This year my ‘Top 40’ has another 55 names to keep me focused to close some business.
It doesn’t matter if you are a CEO, a sales rep, a Partner in a law firm, a Marketing coordinator or an entrepreneur – everybody’s should have their ‘Top 40’. Tip: Print your ‘Top 40’ and keep it handy to call a few people in between meetings. It only takes a few minutes to reach out someone. Stay diligent with these forty contacts and it will keep you busy over the next twelve months.
Thank you Casey Kasem for inspiring me with your ‘Top 40!