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Ramit’s definitive guide to building your network (with scripts)

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We started this year by demolishing several invisible scripts:

Today, we’re going to explore one of those factors that can actually matter MORE than how much experience you have.

That factor is your personal network.

Ordinary people shrug and treat their network as just another word, something that “other people” have but they do not. Witness any nerdy guy talking about jocks to see the kind of “I don’t have that” barriers I’m talking about:


Curious people say, “Hey, I keep hearing about a personal network. Is it possible I actually have one but I don’t know it? How would somebody like me connect with VIPs? Is it even possible? Ok, let me read on.”

Top performers know that if they lost their job on Friday, they could make a few phone calls and send a few emails — usually, fewer than 10 — and have a job offer by Monday. Compare this to the horror stories you see written up in newspapers about people unemployed for months or YEARS.

Top performers can have another job in days (not a typo). In fact, using their networks, top performers actually hear about unadvertised jobs that ordinary people do not.

I know because I’ve been on both sides of the table. And today, I want to pull back the veil to show you how natural networking actually works — ethically, and at the highest levels.

The world’s best networkers

If you’re wondering who are the world’s best networkers, let me refer to you a recent trip I took to India. I was there for a wedding, a huge 7-day affair with jewels, horses,  and 1,500+ people.

This is the bride’s mehndi, a decorative ceremony for women during the wedding week.

Those events happen at night. But during the day, things are calm as people recover from the 4am party nights. (No joke, I saw grandmas up at 3:30am parties.) So when I walked into the living room where I was staying, I saw one of my cousins holding up x-rays to the window.

“What the hell?” I asked. “How did your hospital send x-rays here?” He’s an orthopedic surgeon at a hospital in Beverly Hills.

He looked at me and laughed. “No, these aren’t from my hospital. An aunty down the street heard I was a doctor and asked me to look at her x-rays.”

HAHA. Classic Indian move. Some random neighbor heard we had a doctor in the house and sent over her x-rays. I bet you they had nothing to do with orthopedics, but like a dutiful Indian son, my cousin took a look at them.

This is an extreme example of your network being larger than you imagine. You may not have the audacity of an Indian, but the fact remains: We ALL have a network.

Yes, even if…

  • You didn’t go to some fancy college
  • You live in Podunkville, KS
  • You don’t have years of experience

You have an invisible network that you’re probably ignoring. What if you could unearth it and use it strategically, feeding it and watching it grow? What if your network could help you leapfrog other people who were going through life following the same, tired 9-5 rules?

Case study: How your network can help you

Let me show you specifically how this works.

One year in college, I was looking for summer internships. After meeting a few people and being uninspired by the jobs out there, I decided to call one of my friends, who worked at a startup, and get her advice. I said, “Hey, I’m looking for summer internships. What companies do you know about?” I still remember that it was a Friday afternoon, because she told me to send my resume to her, which I did as soon as I got home.

By Monday, I had a job offer.

And here’s the most ridiculous part. I was told to negotiate my offer…WITH MY FRIEND FROM 7TH GRADE.

How did this happen? Yes, I spent the weekend doing lots of research on the company. And yes, when I walked in to interview on Monday, I used my Briefcase Technique to absolutely crush in the interview.

But what REALLY matters is that my friend recommended me and put her reputation on the line to get me hired. Since she was so valued at the company, her recommendation carried a lot of weight. There was no job listing on the website or Monster.com. They created it for me, and the compensation was essentially “whatever.”

By the way, what did she get out of it?

Ask yourself this: If I was a loser with no skills who wouldn’t show up on time and did sub-standard work, would she have referred me?

OF COURSE NOT! Instead, she knew I would do an awesome job…so when she referred me, she actually got social value from introducing me and fighting for me to get the job.

Read that last line, as it’s critical. If you are a top performer, VIPs WANT you to succeed, and will actually send you job opportunities and recommendations…because it’s in THEIR interest to do so.

This flies in the face of what most people think (“Why would a VIP want to help ME?? Waa…). Your network can be incredibly powerful. In this case, I never would have received this opportunity — let alone the compensation I did — if I had gone through traditional channels, like the typical resume Black Hole of Doom like everyone else.

The takeaway: Our networks can actually be MORE important than the years of experience we have.

“Waa! But Ramit…”

Right now, many of us are thinking, “Well that’s great Ramit, you jackass, but I don’t have friends who can make a call and get me a job. I didn’t go to the same college. I don’t live in NYC or the Bay Area. I don’t have the same eyebrows you do.”

These invisible scripts and reactions are normal. Of course we feel betrayed and skeptical when someone tells us we’ve been sitting on a potential goldmine and we haven’t done anything with it. Can it really be that easy? Why wouldn’t everyone do that?

I want to be crystal clear about two things.

1. Building a powerful network is not easy. If you want something easy, go find some stupid blog that posts Top 10 Career Tips for Success!

My students work harder than ordinary people, but they also get massively disproportionate rewards. For example, if the average person spends 1 hour a week sending their resumes out, my students will spend 3…but they’ll get 10x the response rate. That’s what I call disproportionate results.

2. Building a network is not about sending a fake email to someone, pretending to be interested in them, then asking for a job. If that is your goal, leave. Building real relationships is about investing in them first, figuring out what they want and love, and then helping them get it — NOT instantly expecting a magical job offer. In fact, most of the “networking” you do will simply be helping people and getting nothing back in return. If this makes you uncomfortable and you want a 1-for-1 ROI on your work, leave.

When you change your mentality about networking, understanding that it’s about adding value instead of extracting it, you will see massive changes in your life. I won’t just tell you this — I’ll show you.

I recently asked my students what they’ve learned about their network — and the results they’ve gotten from using my material on natural networking.

“He replied in less than 3 minutes”
Hey Ramit, I’ve been using your networking scripts ever since you posted them on your blog a few weeks ago.  After 4 rejections and many non-replies (at other companies), I have scheduled an informational interview with a finance manager at [MASSIVE SOFTWARE COMPANY].  I used my alumni connections through my university to reach him – I wrote an email using the basic elements of your scripts and he literally replied in less than 3 minutes! -Anand P.

“I have learned years worth of material in a few hours using the…scripts”
The Natural Networking module is worth the cost of the entire Dream Job course by itself. I have learned years worth of material in a few hours just by using the Natural Networking scripts to talk to experts in my industry. I have emailed 10 experts and have talked to 9. Each person gave me great advice to step career to a new level. -Gopi M.

“…Completely natural and honest”
Ramit, I used your networking email script and it worked! The first email got me an informational interview with the president of a powerful local marketing agency. , I also scored an informational interview with a high-level executive from a popular TV and print media empire. All of it felt completely natural and honest.  People seem relieved that I am up front, have no angles, and understand that they are busy.  And they seem to enjoy being useful, so we all benefit! – Andrea P.

(Note: All the scripts they’re referring to are in my Dream Job course, which opens in late January to people on my free email list. It will not be made available on this blog or anywhere else.)

Notice how these are win-win for everyone. You’re not taking advantage of anyone. You’re  not scamming people (a common invisible script when it comes to networking). What you ARE doing is adding value first…even if you don’t have money or valuable connections. In fact, later I cover exactly how a no-name 20-something can add specific value to a VIP.)

But for now, I’m going to give you one of the crucial ways you can continue adding value that almost nobody does. For the first time publicly, I’ll show you the exact word-for-word script to use to use your network in an ethical, non-sleazy way — straight from my Find Your Dream Job course.

Introducing the “Closing the Loop” Technique

First, if you’re curious about how to actually get the attention of VIPs, you DON’T have to do THIS:

I sent this to the person he talks about in the last paragraph. She asked if I was going to meet him. I said I was afraid he was going to wear my skin as a jacket.

You do not have to be creepy!! For the first time, I understand what it feels like to be a woman above the age of 13.

Notice that in the second paragraph, he actually acknowledges that he should focus on ME (the busy person)…and then he does exactly the opposite!

No, no, no. If I ever find out one of you sends an email like this, I will find you, fly out to meet you (I have a lot of free time), and kill you myself. Jackasses.

You can start by focusing on simply sending a “Hey, I noticed you’re doing really interesting stuff” note. I started doing this in high school. I would be reading a magazine and see an interesting piece about somebody doing something cool. I would just send them an email saying, “Hey I read about you in Wired. That is really cool, and I’ll be following your work.” It turns out that even after being covered in national press, most people don’t get nice emails like that where the person emailing doesn’t want something from them.

Later, in college, I would find interesting professors and email them to ask them more about their work. Usually, they would tell me to visit them at office hours, and that’s how I got lots of mentors and advisors. (One key thing you can ask in meetings with VIPs is: “Who else should I be talking to?” If you’ve impressed them, they won’t just suggest people — they’ll often introduce you themselves.)

Let’s say you’re interested in the fashion world. You want to become a designer. Where should you start?

Would you email Calvin Klein? No, a top-tier designer gets hundreds of emails a day from people wanting things from them.

Start with someone more approachable — perhaps a fashion blogger, or a freelance writer. They know the space, have connections, and can help you understand the lay of the land. Notice that this is the hard work I talked about. If it were simply as easy as emailing Calvin Klein (or whoever) to get a meeting, everyone would do it.

I’ve covered the exact word-for-word script to connect with VIPs.

But once you’ve connected with someone you admire — whether it’s via email, phone, or best of all, a coffee meeting — what’s the secret to turning that one-time meeting into an ongoing relationship?

The “secret” is following up — in the right way.

See, the biggest mistake people make when networking is simply not doing it.

But the second-biggest mistake is NOT FOLLOWING UP. Do you know how many people have asked me out to coffee, taken 30 minutes of time to “pick my brain”…then I never hear from them again? I didn’t want a one-night stand! I wanted commitment!! Again I feel like a woman.

Shit, these people could take advantage of the Craigslist Penis Effect and rise above all the unwashed masses with just one email.

What does a VIP want from someone who asks for his advice? He doesn’t need your money or introductions. He already has those.

A VIP wants to know that you listened to his advice and actually followed through.

Think about it: If I meet with someone, and they write back saying, “Hey Ramit, thanks for the time, and thanks especially for pointing out that [GENIUS POINT I MADE]. I took what you said and reached out to Beth Jones and Mike Smith and found out [AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENT]. That helped me get a $3,000 raise and also get Fridays off”…

THAT is worth more than any amount of money he could give me. And it’s the first step to building a relationship.

If you’re going to meet a VIP, whether it’s over the phone, via email, or in person, why go to all that trouble…and then drop the ball by not following up?

I’ll tell you why: Because when we talk to a VIP, in the back of our heads, we have a voice whispering, “There’s no way I can help this guy. He has more money than I do…a bigger email list…he knows way more about (whatever) than I do…I should just get his advice and then not bug him again.”

This is exactly the WRONG approach to take.

And yet this is what everyone does. If you believe you’re being a nuisance to the person, you will be a nuisance. The truth is, busy people are desperate to mentor and help other people who are going to take action. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people will not follow up on what busy people say.

Why am I giving you this script?

Even though I’ve helped thousands of students find their Dream Jobs, and I could keep my very best material in my premium courses, I wanted to give you this powerful nugget. I know that when I invest in you, you can see surprising benefits and dramatic changes — often within hours. Just look at the 2,000+ comments in the last few days. Or some of the dramatic results my Dream Job students have received — in their own words.

Sometimes, we need a little nudge.

Note: This is a video excerpt from the 40+ gigabytes of videos in the Dream Job course — which opens later this month, only to subscribers on my email list — to give you a taste of the tools, strategies, tactics that DJ students have access to.

The Closing The Loop script

The Closing The Loop script helps you stay in touch with people you’ve met once and turn a one-time meeting into a long-term relationship. When you use this, you won’t come off as sleazy, slimy, or scammy — because you’re truly putting their needs ahead of your own.

Notice that a simple “thank you” message isn’t enough. Everyone sends that! It’s become the price of admission. How do you go beyond that to actually make the VIP want to help you?

Here’s how.

Enter the Closing The Loop Technique:

1. Thank You (same day)

Hi Steve,

 Just wanted to thank you again for meeting with me earlier. I’m definitely going to get in touch with Susan like you recommended. I’ll keep you in the loop, and of course, please let me know if there’s anything I can do to repay the favor!

John

[RAMIT’S ANALYSIS: Notice the simple thank you, but also a reference to a specific action item you’re going to follow up on (showing you were paying attention during the meeting/call). This email ends with a friendly offer to help and asks nothing of the VIP.]

2. Add Value (1-2 weeks later)

Hey Steve,

Saw this article in the Wall Street Journal and it reminded me of what you said about productivity tests! No response needed, just thought you might find it interesting.

John

[RAMIT’S ANALYSIS: This email is where things start to get surprising. The VIP likely didn’t expect to hear back from you, since almost nobody follows up beyond one email. In this email, you’re sending a valuable piece of material — an article, blog post, photo, whatever — of something you KNOW he will find interesting.

How do you know what he’ll find interesting? Because during your meeting, you listened and took careful notes.

Finally, pay close attention to the phrase used in the last sentence: “No response needed.” This is music to a busy person’s ears. Think about it: I get 600+ emails/day, and do you know what most of them want? They want something from me. When you can say “No response needed,” and send me something I find fascinating, you’re adding value to my life.]

3. Close the Loop (2-3 weeks later)

Hi Steve,

Wanted to give you an update: I did end up talking to Susan, and you were right — Acme is definitely a fit for me. I’m reaching out to a friend there to learn all I can about Acme before I apply. If there’s anyone else you think I should speak to, please let me know.

Thanks again! I’ll let you know how it goes.

John

[RAMIT’S ANALYSIS: Here, you show the VIP that you actually took action on what he suggested. This will instantly differentiate you from 99% of people. Notice you name specific names, let him know if he was right (or even if you chose something different than his recommendation).

In the last 3 sentences, there are also 2 non-obvious things going on. Can you spot them?]

The simplicity of the Closing the Loop technique belies its effectiveness. Just like my Briefcase Technique, it seems simple and obvious — until you use it. Then its true power is revealed.

For example…

Hey Ramit,

One more testimonial to the Closing The Loop technique that you taught last night. I reached out to a prior boss I haven’t seen in 4 to 5 years about a position I heard about at that company. All I had asked for was if I could still use him as a reference and his up-to-date contact info. He responded in less than a half hour. By following up and offering to keep him in the loop, he then responded with an offer for a letter of recommendation and an offer to send a personal email to the hiring manager on my behalf. Holy Crap! It really works…

-Greg H.

How you can use the Closing The Loop Technique

You can use this today with powerful results.

If you haven’t already found someone to reach out to — someone you admire, someone you want to ask for advice from, someone you’d like to build a relationship with — start here.

Once you have someone you’ve connected with once, it’s important to build the relationship by constantly adding value.

Who would you like to reconnect to? Who can YOU help and what would be most interesting and useful to them? Send them that. Put them first — not you. When you do, repeatedly showing that you’re investing in them first, you’ll separate yourself from the everyone else who (1) rarely reaches out to anyone for advice or help, and (2) only reaches out when they need something.

Stand out, and you will instantly have more credibility and higher-level connections with VIPs, who will want to help you.

How else can you apply this? Imagine going to an informational interview at your dream company. You finally got a meeting, yet you know you’re not supposed to ask for a job. So what do you do? How do you turn this meeting where you’re asking for advice…into an invitation to apply for a job?

Enter the Closing the Loop technique.

By carefully deploying this script (tweaking it for your needs), you can turn yourself from a frustrated job-seeker, going from meeting to meeting…into a top performer who easily demonstrates why you’re different than all the other people the VIP has met with. In the end, when properly implemented, the Closing the Loop technique actually makes VIPs want to recommend, help, or even hire you. And it’s totally ethical and transparent.

To do today

Let’s get specific and go from practicing social skills to applying them to your career — and ultimately, living a rich life.

Pick ONE item to do:

1. BUILD YOUR NETWORK — After today’s post, you realize the power of having a powerful group of people who want to help you. To build that network, I’m going to link you to two posts (here and here) that show you how to connect with VIPs using word-for-word scripts.

Your challenge: Identify 3-5 people you want to get advice from and email them, asking for the answer to a specific question (or a coffee meeting). I suggest testing your approach. Below, in the comments, post how it felt to send these emails.

2. CLOSE THE LOOP — If you’ve recently met with someone, you know how important it is to add value beyond a first meeting.

Your challenge: Use the CTL scripts and timing in this email to follow-up with 1-3 people. In the comments below, share what your NEXT email will be in your CTL series.

*     *     *

By the way, one more thing.

Starting Monday, I’m taking this series off the blog and onto my private email list. That means only email subscribers (free to sign up below) will get the new material, which will include:

  • A word-for-word teardown of the actual resume that got me job offers at Google and other top companies.
  • A sneak peek at an entire module from my Dream Job program on how to land a $5,000 raise
  • How to avoid the classic mistakes I’ve made in networking, interviews, and even figuring out what my Dream Job is

Also, my email list is also the only way to get access to the Dream Job course when it opens. Not on this blog. Not on anyone else’s email list. Only on my IWT email list.

If you’re not subscribed, you won’t get access to any of this, so if you’ve been interested in any of the material I’ve shown you recently — the scripts, videos, teardowns, and even the live webcasts — give yourself the opportunity to get every edge in life.

Sign up FREE to join my private email list and the all-new material coming next week

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94 Comments

 
  1. My next email will be to the head of a record company I met at post new years get together at a musician friends apartment. I’ve already followed up with a “nice meeting you email”. It’s tine to add value, I’ll comb the Internet for a good article about social media or e-tail and the music indrustry, as this was the subject of our conversation.

    • Good. Here’s another tip: Don’t just send the URL. Actually explain why it’s interesting and what they should get out of it. In other words, “you have to sell free.”

    • Hey Chris,

      I would actually take that one step further and not just find something they would be interested in, but find something that would solve a problem they have had in the areas you talked about. Perhaps takes a different angle on social media (Ariel Publicity does a ton with musicians and social media as an example) and then use what Ramit mentioned to drive it home.

  2. Hi Ramit,

    Thank you for articles on your blog. I receive also your news letter. Today I read and learned about the closing loop. This article comes at a perfect time as I’m currently requesting some people I admire about being a professional reference.

    Also wanted to express my regret on not taking action on any of the previous articles sent on your newsletter. Valuable information and my laziness prevented me from learning to create great opportunities. Today it was different, and decided to read and open the link and read through. I am happy I did, and sharing it with people I care. Thank you!

  3. To follow up on your exercise. I Will attend this Network luncheon offered by the Youth Professional Network next week. I never attended one as I feel I dont know what would I say and how to approach people. Suggestions on how to go about these? After the lunch I will follow up on those persons that I establish rapport and close the loop!

  4. This morning I had a scheduled research call to prepare for a job interview next week. I was already planning to send a thank-you note afterwards, but after reading this post, I borrowed elements of Ramit Technique.

    This person had mentioned he would like to see me do a particular thing when I come in for the interview – so I included a specific action I’m taking on that front in my thank-you note. Before my in-person interview next week, I’ll send him another email showing that I followed through. I bet this will help turn this person into an advocate for hiring me. :)

  5. Ramit,
    I actually used this technique when you launched Dream Job last time. It landed me a tutoring job that I didn’t even have to ask for, a mentor (biggest asset by far), and multiple projects to be included on.
    Needless to say, it works.
    Thanks millions,
    D Jacobsmeyer

  6. Great post. I’ve relocated for my job a while ago and learned that one of my ex bosses relocated as well just a couple months ago. He heads a division for my previous firm. It’s been more than two years since we have kept in touch, but your post inspires me to write him an email to suggest we catch up over coffee. There will be information regarding our industry from my current firm that he would be interested in, and vice versa, but nothing too confidential. Will let you know how that pans out.

  7. I reached out to my last boss, who had e-mailed me recently asking for my new address so she could send my W-2. Her recommendation got me my current job after I moved, (I now work for her competitor), so I’d be an idiot to not keep in touch with her.

    I also sent this post to my husband, who has been spending a lot of time e-mailing Broadway pianists, trying to break into the scene. Hopefully it will help him.

    • Also, I felt vaguely queasy the whole time I wrote the e-mail. This is the epitome of irrational panic! I know this person! I know she likes me! I know she wants to keep in touch! And I’m still afraid she’s laughing at the idea that I’d like to meet her for coffee next time she’s in town. Hello, invisible scripts!

    • Amazing how crippling these barriers can be. And that’s when you have the word-for-word scripts in front of you. Good job sending the email, Meg.

  8. Ramit, you speak the truth. I can say for a fact that these are the exact techniques students at the top schools use to get the top jobs and mentorship. Thanks for keeping it real – off to email as you suggested and will keep you posted.

  9. Thank you for posting ALL of this, Ramit! I am going into two interviews in two weeks and am going to get busy on researching both of them right now so I can maximize my effectiveness. Plus, I think it’s cool to give more than expected. Pay it forward, right?!

    One unexpected benefit I found from the “Closing the Loop” technique is that I found the people who do NOT respond to my followup emails (where I send an interesting and relevant article/website/whatever) is that generally they do not have the values I learned are important to me in a business relationship and I wouldn’t be happy working with them anyway. I learned this by accident (the hard way!) and am now as grateful for the non-responses as I am for those who respond positively.

    Thank you for sharing your great information!

  10. I appreciate the great ideas and free content. I have had the opportunity to be on vacation and meet several new people. I am sitting here thinking how to find value to our meeting and I will email all of them today and thank them for the oportunity to meet them. No experience will go unnoticed any longer.

  11. This worked for me this week. Wanted to reconnect with a friend who works at a local sports team. Reached out and told him I wanted to have lunch on me. Next thing you know, I offer to help him with a project he’s working on and we’re going into everyone’s office for introductions.

    Now I’m going to be working during the season assisting with managing events.

  12. My network is actually pretty big – the type of networking you talk about is definitely one of my strengths. However, sometimes I forget to maintain it properly – to do all the follow-up and send those extra email updates to VIPs. You’ve reminded me how important it is.
    Today I will send a follow-up email to a recruiter who helped me with my resume and also gave me the inside track on who to talk to about a job I was interested in. I told him I would tell him how it went, and that’s my next step. He especially had some thoughts on using a “professional summary” on my resume, and I’ll show him the results of that.
    I’ll also follow-up with an HR manager who gave me an informational interview and told me to spend some time on the website of a specific company division. I’ll do that and then in my email mention that I followed her advice and that it was helpful – I’ll be specific about what I find on the website.
    Finally, a new acquaintance offered to connect me with the new recruiter in a division I’ve been trying to break into for months. I’m going to thank her for the offer via email today, and I’ll tell her that I’ll update her on how things go.

    • Interestingly, today I also reached out to HR at my work for an acquaintance who is applying for a job here. It feels great to help someone who you think deserves a job, etc. And hiring managers and HR both appreciate a tip that helps them winnow down resumes. Everybody wins! This is the kind of thing where although I don’t expect anything in return from this person or in the near future, participating in my network in a positive way for others strengthens it for me too – and you can’t always predict how that will manifest itself.

  13. My next email will be the head of research at an R&D company that I’d like to work with. I’ve researched publications and news releases on the company website. I’ve compiled three focus areas that interest me. I’ll start here and work my way to several informational interviews with engineers who specifically work on these projects that interest me.

    • I forgot to mention that I’ve met this head of research when I was in grad school and we’ve kept in touch by email maybe once or twice a year so it will be good to strengthen this important connection that’s been a little neglected in recent years.

  14. I just sent a thank you e-mail to the therapist who passed on the contact info that netted me a solid job offer with her agency. I haven’t accepted the offer yet (still exploring another possibility) but there’s a significant chance that I will.

    Let me back up. I’ve been job hunting since early December knowing that my current position was going to disappear sometime in March. While I was tossing resumes into the Careerbuilder black hole of doom I was also tapping into my network. Because of my job, I meet many people in diverse fields and I e-mailed several of them to reconnect while letting them know I was looking and asking them to pass along any interesting opportunities that they knew of.

    This particular connection came from a family I currently work with (so someone I already provide value to). They connected me with one of their other therapists, whom I had met once and briefly chatted with, who connected me with HER boss whom she knew was hiring. I called her, mentioned the therapist’s name, and voila- meeting and subsequent job offer! Even better, she told me to pass the info on to the other people I work with who will ALSO be out of a job come March.

    Note that I work for a nonprofit in the human services field- a notoriously low-paying field, but that I still was able to use connections to get a job.

    Oh, and my other job possibility is with an investment firm. I did the phone interview and am waiting to hear back about an in person interview. I had a solid connection there too but I don’t know if this one will pan out since it is totally outside my area of expertise.

  15. Marshall Parker Link to this comment

    I’ll be sending a CTL email today to an executive I met with a couple of weeks ago for an informational interview. Definitely time to add some value!

  16. This email reminded me to follow up with 2 people who wrote recommendation letters for me recently. One is a former boss and the other is a long-time family friend who is also a big-shot attorney with national clients. While those emails may not have been for interviews specifically, I was able to apply your techniques to another area and continue to build these relationships and my network.
    Thanks for all your hardwork! Your advice is invaluable and I’m grateful for it.

  17. I have built up such a strong network that I now have to learn how to carefully balance my work and my relationships with them….everyone wants to talk to me and is eager to help out more. It’s a good problem to have, though!

  18. I reached out to someone whom I admire professionally (in a different field) and we met for tea this morning. My intention was to ask about him how he got from a to z…I did just that and that conversation snowballed into him offering me an apprenticeship at his company while I complete training/certification. I am transitioning from one field to another, although there is some overlap. I was at a loss about how to get from where I am now to where I want to be…until I joined your mailing list and began taking action. After reading this morning’s post and clicking over to the blog, I sent a CTL note (complete with follow-up items) and I even read through the comments here first–which was helpful since part of my follow-up was links to articles. I took a few more minutes to explain the links and highlighted the take-aways. There are a few more people on my network list to email and I now feel much more confident about reaching out. Thank you for the advice!

  19. have been following your emails for the last few weeks. Great articles and love your style. Some great info here. I’ve been using some of these techniques for years in a fragmented fashion but you bring them together really well. Thanks

    No response needed!!

  20. Thanks Ramit! Can’t wait to try this new technique.
    I had 2 job interviews last month. In both job interviews I went to the 3rd round meeting the VP’s of the departments. I felt good about the VP round. But unfortunately I didn’t get the job. I just don’t understand why I didn’t get the job in both instances. I got generic turn down emails…. Thank you for going through the interview process you were a good candidate but we decided to move forward with someone else with more experience. I think it’s a total BS answer because I know in each job description I fell within the experience level they were asking for. What can I do to get pass this. I have applied to 3 more jobs and I’m waiting to hear back. I’m definitely going to us the briefcase technique on these 3. Do you for any other tips for closing and leaving a lasting impression?

    Thanks,
    SJ

  21. Holy shit, the Closing the Loop scripts work so well! I got a response within 30 minutes, offering to introduce me to another VIP, write a recommendation for an internship, and meet again to brainstorm about my career! I promise to follow up and add value as per your recommendations. Thanks so much!

  22. @Stacy

    Thanks for posting your comment. I have been considering jumping from one notoriously low paying social services agency to another that pays a little more but haven’t been able to figure out how to bridge the gap since I don’t communicate with anyone in that agency. Duh, inconspicuously ask one of their clients since we serve the same population.

    Good luck to you!

  23. Watching the video on the briefcase technique, I realized that is what I did to land 2 jobs offers about 5 years ago. It was the first time ever I had multiple job offers. I also used the closing the loop technique with these jobs (and with all other employers). Many years back, I got a two-month temporary job reaching to my university network, even though the translation department head really intimidated me. I had even sent her an home-made thank you card for her help. She was really touched by that.

    Now I will add that your briefcase technique goes further than what I have done. Plus, you explained the psychology on both sides. I just did those things back then because it felt right. I really wanted either of these jobs. Most of all, I had been trying to leave the company I was working at for about 3 years, and I wanted to make sure I got the hell out of there.

    Most of us have inklings of this techique. I really appreciated this post and video because you showed us it can be applied elsewhere. Duh. It’s so obvious now that you pointed it out. Taking these measures can feel a bit awkward at first, but they will soon become natural. Plus, you’ll feel like there’s something missing if you skip them.

    Earlier this week, I already reached out to a coworker to meet up. I used to be a satellite employee, and my job has relocated to the head office. She knows how things go in the office, I do not. She strives for validation and recognition, I can give her that, plus let others know (as I have done in the past), just how great she is. She’s one of the few colleagues I’d actually want to hang out with outside work (well, I still do most of my job from a home office). There are similarities in our work, so I know there are many things I can help her with. I’ll make sure I follow up on our week’s contacts this weekend.

  24. This technique works! My husband used to do this when he was courting me. He would email or bring me an article that made him think of something I had said or something relevant to my career and I thought it was so thoughtful because it showed he was listening. He would never show up for a date without some little token, and the dates were based upon things I told him I was interested in. Not only did he seal the deal with me (8 years of marriage and 2 children later), but he went from being a Chemist in a laboratory to a Network Manager for an international Material Sciences company, which involved several sizeable promotions.

  25. This email came just in time. I actually took your advice and stopped listening to my dream killing invisible scripts. Late last night I applied for a position I normally would have told myself I didn’t qualify for, and this morning I received an email stating my resume was very relevant (who knew?!) Whether I get the job or not I will definitely apply this technique for future openings and to expand my network toward a new career. Thanks so much!

  26. Hi Ramit,
    Awesome post.. thanks for the valuable techniques. One powerful technique that can help your readers with “closing the loop” is http://www.followup.cc/

    You just need to BCC followup.cc, when you are writing to the VIP, and specify the follow-up schedule. It sends you a reminder on the scheduled date to follow-up.

    Hope you findi this useful.
    Nisar

  27. At university I used to do what you did, Ramit, with regard to people you’d read about in Wired. I was a music student and I would write to music organisations, sometimes offering to volunteer for them (as opposed to asking for work experience; that way I’m offering help rather than asking for it), other times writing to composers to compliment them on a new piece of music they’d written or to let them know them I was performing something of theirs and invite them to the performance. Turns out composers get REALLY excited when you tell them this. They ALL responded, most of them came to my performances, I got regular bits of freelance work from them over the years and was invited to perform in all sorts of unusual gigs I would never, ever have got without those contacts.

    What I’m only now realising from your post is that:

    a) I let this networking habit slide completely after university, when I was working as a singer, and even though almost all my work came from contacts, I felt like this was cheating and unfair on other singers (wtf?) and I should be getting all my work from auditions, and

    b) when I left music and started a “proper” job it never occurred to me to use the same techniques. Why not? I’m feeling like an idiot right now.

  28. Ramit
    I can’t thank you enough for all the wonderful insights. I discovered you recently via Penelope Trunk’s blog. And boy! since then I have read your book ‘I will teach you…’ and have automated my finances and got back 35$ over-draft fee! With your technique of networking, there is no stopping me. I have sent multiple emails out and have received replies to all. I came to US 5 years back with no friends or family making $80K and by end of 2012, I started making 6 figure salary. But, I was still lacking something to achieve my goal of starting my own business. With your techniques, I’m sure I will realize my dream. Thanks a ton.

  29. Ramit,

    Your post couldn’t have been better timed! Two weeks ago I asked for a coffee meeting with a visiting VIP and she said yes! We had our meeting and she gave me a list of 5 people to follow up with, one of which she set up herself. That person gave me 4 more people to talk to!

    I feel so stupid, but it never, ever occurred to me to do the obvious thing and thank them for the time they gave me. (I thanked them in person of course.) So today I sent both of them the “Thank You” emails and programmed into my calendar to do the “add-value” in the next two weeks.

    Now I’m going to have to go over to RBT and admit my failure

    So thank you, thank you, thank you!

    BTW, if you started plucking your eyebrows you’d start to look like the female super models you claim you don’t want to look like :)

  30. I’m writing an email to an executive who I’ve been interviewing with for the last month. We spoke last week when he let me know that the position went to someone with a history with the firm, but he gave me some challenging advice that I haven’t stopped thinking about.

    Btw, last weekend a former colleague texted me to see if I was available for a freelance assignment — she’s working with a start-up in desperate need of someone with my (Liam Neeson voice) particular set of skills. I sent her my resume, we talked Monday, I started Tuesday. The colleague and I only worked very tangentially together, but she was cc’d on all my reports and was very impressed with my work. Never under-estimate how many former coworkers might be in your corner, even if you weren’t in the same department or same level.

  31. It’s amazing the networks we have without even realizing it. After thinking a lot about all your recent Dream Job emails, I realized I wanted to get back into theater after following other interests for many years. I made an off-hand post on Facebook, and within half an hour two friends had offered to get me connected to local theater companies. I had no idea I had those connections!

    I really need to work on my follow-through, though. I totally got stuck in the invisible scripts of needing experience/education and basically spent my time convincing my friends I didn’t deserve their help, instead of following through and going for it. Sheesh. Time to back track…

  32. Ramit,

    Thanks for sharing this. Previously I have been following up, but with a lack call to action in response. Should there be a slightly different approach if you an entrepreneur reaching out to investors or big ticket clients?

  33. Brian McCarthy Link to this comment

    Holy shit, that was useful as hell. I followed your advice and made a list of 10 VIP’s to contact, 6 got back to me, and of the 2 meetings I’ve had so far didn’t know how to follow up. Now I’m gonna go find some articles they may find useful. Just the article I needed today. Thanks!

  34. So I sent two emails already and the first person already wrote back and wants to meet on Monday – and even may have a job – which I’m not looking for. Really! I wanted to meet to talk about transitioning back into what I used to do which this contact has already done. Amazing! You really know your stuff Ramit. Thank you!

  35. Loved the excuse, “I don’t have the same eyebrows you do.” Haha. I’ve been reading your blog religiously over the past couple weeks and it has been eye opening how many invisible scripts people have that cripple their abilities to succeed. I have been working to identify mine to become more productive and become a better communicator. Thanks!

  36. A great article Ramit. Guess what, i heard you on BBC Radio here in Kenya and wow! I am one of those people interested in making it. Your site is free Fantastic! You are also true on these matters.
    In networking, when you are true to who you are, you are enthusiastic to whom you say hello to! That is because you know what you want.
    To all in need, social skills are learned. I am proud to say i am a late learner yet i have been able with the help of God and my dreams to get a few connections using these scripts before: then i had no knowledge of them.
    Am greatful i have a real reference that i haven’t been dreaming empty all through. Keep it up Ramit.

  37. One of my father’s friends works as an Executive Administrative Assistant. She and I have met on several occasions for social outings, and she’s a lot of fun to spend time with! She also has a job that I’m interested in. I have no idea what my Dream Job is, but this sounds like something I’d really like to do and would be my next employment step.

    We’ve been e-mailing back and forth the past few days trying to find a good day for both of us to meet over lunch and discuss what she does, how she got there, and what I can do to prepare myself.

    We’ve known each other for three or four years, but it wasn’t until your e-mail newsletters, Ramit, that I was able to see that she’s definitely a part of my network.

  38. I sent out 3 followups by email. I decided it was going to be done in one sitting and NOW, not later. It was easier than I thought and didn’t t take a huge amount of time. You asked for the next email- It will be to a dance teacher I met. He knows a lot of people locally and this one will be trickier w/o feeling obligate to take dance lessons. I’ll have to think on how to do this one right.

  39. Hi Ramit,

    Thanks for another great article! I just started following your mailing list a few weeks ago, and I’ve been very impressed thus far. Especially the way you combine your advice with *very* concrete steps and checklists — so easy, it makes one forget how much work must’ve gone into coming up with and testing them :)

    On another note: I was talking to a psychologist I know, who’d been training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It turns out that getting people to acknowledge and change their “hidden scripts” is one of the foundations under this (very effective) treatment of things like depression. But of course, you must already know!

    In any case, this post made me realize that I shouldn’t see following up on stuff like you’re suggesting, as “taking more time from the VIP”, but as a genuinely good thing to do. One hidden script down, a lot more to go…

    Thanks again; I’ll be off, closing some loops!

    Best, Onno

  40. I lived in the bay area my entire life until seven years ago, when I moved to Seattle. Has anyone else experienced Seattle as being almost anti-networking? Or networking only amongst very closed social groups? Am I doing something really wrong or do other folks in Seattle observe this? I know about the Seattle Freeze phenomenon (and managed to make friends anyway), but this is different. When I ask my friends for networking advice they look at me like I have three heads and tell me to submit my resume on web sites.

  41. Perfect timing!

    I just made an amazing contact through work earlier this week and wasn’t sure how to close the loop.

    I took your advice not come on too strong about job possibilities, though given location I couldn’t ask to take him out for coffee.

    He had mentioned a project when we spoke and sent me a link to his report. In my email I shared one point that interested me most and said I’d be looking into it further and would share my findings with him if it was anything interesting. I also asked one question.

    I had already helped him professionally, so I offered any further assistance required with that specifically, or in any way that relates to his work.

    I heard back and need to provide one additional professional assist. He referenced my question, but said he’d have to research to get an answer. No other indication that he’s willing to pursue a networking relationship. After the courtesy professional follow-up, I’m not sure if I should contact him again.

    How do you know when further communication with help the relationship vs hurt?

  42. I will definitely look for a few target people to talk to via Linked In. I have some great people I’m in groups with there and will use that as my in. No access to LinkedIn at work – thanks government filters – but this will be my action item for Monday so that any notifications show up fresh right at the top of their inboxes! Will report back by Wednesday to report on my progress.

  43. Ramit-

    It’s synchronicity! Your message came at a time when I was lamenting over whether or not to contact this speaker whose workshop I attended two nights ago. I followed your script, sent my email request to him, and received a positive response within 2 hours!!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  44. Thanks Ramit!

    I just sent a note to a local spa owner. She’s a former ad exec who moved here to the mountains and has built this amazing spa-resort that has a great reputation, amazing customer service and experience and solid branding. I’m a photographer, but her business is one that I’ve held as a model since moving to the area. It never crossed my mind to be forward about making contact with her. I just figured we’d meet at a chamber event some day and I’d get to know here there. But leaving my future to chance isn’t very awesome, and think your idea is way mo’ betta.

    In my note to her, I followed your structure – noted that we both lived in Chicago, complimented her and her business success – and asked if I could pick her brain (for 15-20 minutes) about what she’s found to be the most helpful in growing her business in – and beyond – our community.

    Thanks for this great, simple-to-implement idea! I’ll keep you in the loop for how it plays out. I think she, like you, would be an amazing mentor.

  45. Ramit,

    Awesome post… After reading this I realized that I had not followed up with someone I was networking in about 4 months. I just followed up with an email today and I got a reply back saying he knew one of my professors and that an Internship may open in either DC or NC for some computer forensics. He also mentioned about coming up and taking a tour of the labs.

    I then used your email script and said thanks for taking the time to reply to my email and that I would be getting in touch with the professor he recommend. I also would be keeping him in the loop…

    Thanks for the simple steps to follow as I might not have been on the top of his mind if I had continued to wait

  46. Thanks for the script!
    If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading your emails, its that practicing the techniques you give us increases their usefulness alot. I’m heading back to school this Sunday so I’m gonna be PRACTICE and PERFECT this technique with my teachers and other staff and alumni at my school.

    p.s. I don’t go to Stanford like you did, im at a state school. Which means i’m gonna make sure every connection I make counts!

  47. While listening to my Computer Architecture prof during class this week, I made sure to note his rant on how useful learning the history of numbers is. After class I spoke with him, letting him know that I had never thought there was such a topic to read on, and also asking him if he had recommended resources for learning more. He didn’t have anything specific, just told me I should try googling it.

    Two days later was my next class. Prior to it, I had found a book on Amazon that looked intriguing. I copied the title, author and ISBN on a small note and brought it to class. Again, after class I spoke with the professor. I slid my note across the desk, and explained to him that I ordered a book online. “I wrote the details and ISBN down in case you knew of the book or were interested in looking at it.” I asked if it would be okay to discuss some of the topics an exchange thoughts a few weeks later when I had finished reading it. His eyes lit up and a smile followed.

    He was ecstatic that I was taking initiative. I also asked him if it would be okay to meet next week to talk about some other areas he found interesting. I told him, “I would be a fool to assume I know everything in the field that I would find interesting and would like to explore other areas as well.”

    “That is wonderful to hear,” he said. Before leaving, he made sure to ask me for my full name and THANKED me for taking action.

    Also he is Indian and as far as I know, he has not negotiated me on anything, so far. Ramit, you’re da bomb! I hope I can feel safe tonight knowing you won’t fly out to kill me.

  48. Ramit, I am so glad that you take the time to do this for us. I have left a comment every post this week because of the incredible value you bring to my life. And I havent even met you. I am a photographer by trade so technically I have my dream job, but you message today is one i can definately convert to my own cause to become better known in the community I live in and also to communicate better with my potential clients. Thanks a bunch, I have alot of networking to do this year to ensure that I will suceed

  49. Although I’m sure you have the self confidence to get through his without my words of support, I just want to say that you have beautiful eyebrows. All my friends think I’m weird for paying attention to such things, but seriously, my husband similarly has dark, strong eyebrows and that was one of the first things I complimented him on. Ha!

    I used your scripts for making contact with VIPs months ago and they really did make a difference. I got interviews with three amazing game writers and was surprised to find that such big names were willing to take the time for me. I guess I ended up “closing the loop” with them subconsciously by letting them know how my job search turned out (successful – got a position fairly quickly in a related field and it’s been great). People shouldn’t be afraid to send out notes. You don’t stand to lose much, but there’s a ton of valuable information to gain.

  50. Highly useful post – thanks!

    I’ve emailed a number of people this week using a variation of this technique (will refine after having read this), and I have a couple of thoughts:

    First, even though I’ve gotten much more confident in networking, I still feel nervous when waiting for a response from someone I don’t know well. I sometimes catch myself dreaming up horror stories of the person being annoyed or insulted by me. This has never come true and my fantasies are way over the top, but still those feelings linger.

    Second, I find it helpful to do two things to ensure this technique’s success: 1) stay cool and think long term. The returns are much higher once you build a relationship with someone (and asking becomes easier). 2) Set reminders to follow up! Sometimes I even write my follow up message days in advance (Evernote helps) and just copy and paste when my alert goes of a week later.

    Good luck, all, and thanks again Ramit!
    Dave

  51. Great. I just wasted 40 minutes on videos of Aziz Ansari.

    Worst part, I’ve seen them all before.

    Thanks a lot, Ramit.

  52. Details of Dream Job appreciated

  53. Spoke with a freelancer earlier this week about shooting weddings, how to get started, what to avoid, etc. Going to follow up this coming week by adding value. The group over at stillmotion have some very unique wedding videos and different ways of tackling them, so am going to send her a link to one of these with a small breakdown of what they do differently than the status quo.

    Also been working on some things for an email to a VIP. I have value to add doing some freelance work, and am finishing preparing a small sample to send. Wrote a draft of the email earlier today, but am going to revise it according to some of the things I’ve read in this article.

    Thank you Ramit! I will let you know how it goes.

  54. I recently attended a conference where I spoke with a couple of professors who have research areas and contacts that might be useful for me in finding postdoc opportunities. I have already followed up with one of them briefly by email, but I need to follow up with the other one. My next email will be a quick thank you for meeting with me like #1 above, and then I will be on the lookout for anything interesting to send like #2 above. In the meantime I will be following up on one lead she already mentioned so I can report back.

  55. Awesome article, Ramit! (But you already knew that.)

    About three weeks ago, I met with two VIPs of a Chicago-based software testing company.

    How did I land the meeting? Earn1K. Plus, an INSIDE CONNECTION.

    Right after the meeting, I sent everyone a standard “thank you” email. And thought that was the end of it.

    Like most people, I made the mistake of not following up. But after I read this post, I scoured the web for a blog post relevant to what we discussed during the meeting and emailed it to the two VIPs and my friend who got me the meeting.

    No response yet. And I waited WAY too long to write a follow up. But at least I did it.

    You talk about “top performers” all the time, but the phrase didn’t really “click” with me before this post.

    The subtlety that most people miss is the word “perform.” Perform means “to carry out, accomplish or fulfill.”

    Everyone thinks they’re awesome. But few people do awesome things. Big hat, no cattle.

  56. Ramit, you sly bastard i hate you =P, not because you suck, not because you are crazy (I’m still trying to figure that one out.) Because my mind went numb for just this crazy amount of specific way to build a network.

    It as if im staring at the sun and my eye’s melted and i had to get new ones (Ok that might be too much kiss assezer there) I have been a long time reader and doer of your system. While looking over the material, I noticed something i did wrong but not game changer but something that i could recover from.

    I emailed a company and asked if they would be interested in producing a product for myself. The short of it was NO, although the answer they gave was that they did not do that.

    I thought it was odd since that what they did for a living, so after reading this page I noticed that was to direct, WITHOUT providing them with a reason why they should work with me. My take away is that i should provide a background and a reason enough for them to work with me.

    Thanks for your time
    Steve Ward

  57. You may wonder why a guy from Bangladesh where you can’t even have an international credit card, let alone purchase his book or courses, is writing on IWT.

    Well, for one reason- to thank Ramit.

    As I was going through this post last night, I decided to write some e-mails taking inspiration from his scripts. My long-term girlfriend who did not contact me for over three months after some misunderstandings, and who now lives in another part of the world, wrote me back within three hours. My professors who live in India and who usually never write back, sent me long e-mails sharing their personal stories and said they would recommend me for any program for my MS, even though I didn’t ask for it explicitly.

    Ramit, if you are reading this, I want to let you know that you may never have any financial gain from me, but you have helped me so much that I will do something for you whenever I get a chance. I have never seen my life change so much within a night. Thank you again.

  58. Great stuff! It is amazing how the people you meet along the way turn out to be so helpful to your life and career. I see so many people in my job and career constantly sayin no. I have done so in the past ascwell but am learning to say yes.
    The other day I was in a small market I always go to. The cashier saw my schools engineering lanyard and asked if I was an engineer. I said yes I have been out of school for two years blah blah. She is in her first year of school. The next day she was in there again an I thought “I wish someone had given me tips about the program and career advice…also both of us being female she may have questions” so I told her that if she had questions or anything to just let me know because I am in the store a lot. She snickered and said her cousin is in engineering so she thinks she is good. I am not sure she realized she just annoyed me, I was trying to be nice. It is very hard to find an engineering job in my area and because of her attitude may never hire or reccomend her. She could have taken the opportunity and taken me out for coffee and had her first coop job. Seeing other people act this way makes me realize this is how I dont want to be!

  59. Thanks for this post Ramit! I sent out 4 emails for informational interviews using your scripts and I have 3 responses already! It took a little bit of time to get creative about my network, but it was worth it! Looking forward to your future posts.

  60. I first watched your videos on asking for a raise, and tested with my boss. I did receive an increase in salary but not the full amount I had asked. Later I find out the company is pretty much broke so maybe that’s why my salary wasn’t justified.

    I’m really enjoying all the information and putting it into practice. . .

    For one of my weekly goals I will find 3 people to e mail using the script in this post. I am going to actively improve and build my network. I have many people around me that I have been undervaluing, I haven’t been using my social side to it’s fullest and it might have hurt me already in making my network.

    I already used a connection with a previous co-worker for a contact on a new job, and the Briefcase technique as well as paying closer attention to the way I talk and my mannerisms will all help to make my next job become my Dream Job!

  61. Tyler Crawford Link to this comment

    Hi Ramit

    I want to thank you for this post. Great content.

  62. Ramit,

    You are dead-on with the closing-the-loop technique. In my experience with academia, I received and quickly forgot hundreds of emails, but it feels so great to have someone be open to advice without actually wanting anything from you. Emails wth CTL-type techniques are the ones I loved responding to, and I still remember them, years later.

    The briefcase technique is also a very effective one, though I feel the most important part is learning what the interviewers *actual* needs are. In some fields you can only really learn those things from networking ahead of time.

    Thanks!

  63. I got most jobs from my network of friends. I was out of work for over a year because I wanted to pursue my own business. I had someone beg me to work with her at a company and I kept turning the job down. If you work well with others and you have the right people in your circle, you can go very far.

  64. Hey Ramit,

    I am building relationships, networks and yes I have got jobs through networks only ! Now the challenge is to help someone getting a job through this network. I have referenced, approached but it isnt helping or working out. Guess this needs more to be worked on until success.
    thanks for your advice…looking forward for more of it

  65. Hi Ramit,

    I subscribe to your valuable ideas, I just have a question, I am a very normal guy living in India, doing the most bizarre thing – working as a French Language expert in a random Travel company.
    Do you think all the ideas are regional basis ? if it differs from country to country.
    If a normal ( average ) person like me can benefit out of it – off-course I want to hear a yes, but is it that I have to really start from Step 1 , what will be that as I have missed couple of messages.
    I am 26yr and I am feeling motivating but it does not last too long…

  66. Hi Ramit,
    I’m actually a Dream job student and just wanted to say the scripts and techniques are amazing. Simple yet powerful. I wanted to say that it’s a lot more work than I first realized but I’m glad for it.
    Thanks,

  67. This is really useful advice and insight. Thank you so much Ramit!

  68. I am over the moon with joy right now! Here’s the story:

    Last week I had an interview with a front office manager, she seemed very nice and I knew I had her in the bag because she explained just that morning she was discussing with a colleague how she is going to fill that vacancy, which means I was the only applicant because they didn’t even start recruiting for it yet, I just happened to email her on the perfect day. Mind you I applied for front office agent, the position is for front office supervisor.

    Today I met with the hotel manager, he is a very experienced man in the industry. I did my homework on him and found out he use to manage a hotel I stayed at a few years ago so I brought that up AND I pulled out the briefcase technique! His face was priceless, I could tell he was doing his best to keep a tough and unimpressed demeanor. His main concern was that I never had this role before and my young age of 22. The briefcase technique, my preparation on him and me highlighting all the experience I have got me hired. THANK YOU! Next stop: A Raise! :)

  69. I reached out to a former coworker. She’s a couple days away from moving across the country, so coffee isn’t really doable. I suggested arranging a phone conversation. I was hesitant to reach out to her because I barely knew her at work and didn’t want to seem like a weirdo. But I followed some of these awesome networking scripts and she replied within a minute. It was such a quick reply I though I was getting a bounced back email!

    However, my follow up needs work. She immediately agreed to talking with me, and I followed with “great, let me know what time/day works for you”—- thinking I was being helpful by being flexible to her busy schedule. In retrospect, should have listened to my husband and suggested a specific date and time, with alternatives in case one wasn’t good for her. Now we’re playing the vague “touch base soon” game.

    4 more people to email, will test different approaches with them!

    • Yep, your husband was right. This is part of testing…you learn from the first emails you send! I cover the exact scripts that I’ve tested with thousands of people in my DJ course.

  70. I completed the first step in the CTL series and next week I will be implementing step two: add value.

    Thanks for showing us the CTL technique, Ramit!

  71. I feel I should have known this but somehow DIDN’T. I’ve taken your advice and just closed the loop with a really influential blogger who I asked for advice who responded so warmly and told me to keep in touch. Thank you so much for this great advice which has potentially helped me form a great new connection/mentor!

  72. RAMIT! I put your advice into action today – you should have seen it… like magic. Like Johnny Depp as Barnabas Colins in that movie where he is a vampire and can hypnotize people into doing whatever he wants. About to CTL and looking forward to these new connections and my new network! I HONESTLY like these people, and guess what – I wasn’t even looking for a job today and I got an offer and a referral from my FIRST contact. Muchisimas Gracias de Buenos Aires!

  73. [Ramit, I've sent variations of this email to you a couple of times but I haven't managed to get a response. I'm in the process of re-tuning what I've written to try and get some sort of a response, but in the meantime, I thought maybe leaving this in the comments section would get some attention.]

    Forgive the subject line, but I was hoping to get your attention out of the thousands of emails that I’m sure you receive.

    My name is Andrew Emmert, and I’m slowly working towards a job as a mechanical engineer while doing quality control at a sheet metal shop. Today, I spent 8 hours frantically filling out paperwork and checking parts at a breakneck pace while being yelled at by a shop foreman who couldn’t be bothered to lift a finger to help, and being consistently bothered by an out of touch boss whom I was having trouble communicating with. Eventually the boss and I had to sit down and have a discussion because I accidentally hung up on him in my haste to get everything done on time. Fortunately, the owner of the company is very understanding of me and didn’t take it too personally.

    Ramit, I read your blog and try to apply as much of the material as I can. But years of communication practice hasn’t seemed to help me work around my schizophrenia, obsessive behaviors, or anxiety issues. Here I am, working my ass off, and not seeing many results.

    If you don’t mind, I could use your thoughts on some very specific questions.

    -How can I learn to modulate my tone more so that people don’t misinterpret my frustration for an angry outburst? I need to create dialog with people, not be causing them to constantly be going on the defensive.

    -How do successful people handle all the stress that their dream job puts on them? How do they keep it completely together when the work environment is going batshit insane? In addition, how can I gain better control over my emotional states so that I can communicate with people without being browbeaten into submission?

    -What do I do in a work situation when I start hallucinating? What if I start hearing voices and seeing my coworkers doing things that frighten me? How do I get back into control and continue to be a top performer?

    -How can I make my bosses be more understanding and not be so afraid around me? How can I get them to see the benefits of paying me more money, instead of only the big downsides?

    -what can I do about finding the willpower to get up and keep going on a daily basis and push aside any thoughts of self-harm? what do the top performers do when they need help but can’t access any health services? Do they just suck it up and keep going? How?

    I know you’re a busy guy, and I don’t want to take up too much of your time. But like my over dramatic subject line read, I need more than just advice, I could use some help.

    Best wishes,

    Andrew Emmert

  74. Awesome article Ramit.

    Your closing the loop technique reminds me of something I learned scraping my knees by botching some relationship opportunities early on. The biggest networking fail is consistency. Taking someone from acquaintance (1st meeting) to relationship requires consistency on your end. And by consistency, I mean consistently adding value/inserting yourself top of mind in a non-obtrusive way.

    Thanks again for writing about this and keep up the great work.

  75. I seriously know what it feels like to cry with joy now, cuz I’m doing it right now as I read these comments :). This blog is so amazing man, I’m getting rid of all my other subscriptions and sticking with your from now on. I previously mentioned a lot of blogs were good, and they were, but NOT like this one. This blog actually touches me spiritually man. I am not lying to you. Thank you so much for spending so much time in making this possible for people like me. I’m gonna make you proud and get back in touch with you asap dude. I never been so stuck to a blog like yours before. It’s a blessing!

  76. First of all, what an awesome site! And I love the networking rules for success. It is totally about who you know not what you know. I might add to all of the above that people generally like to help, or at least talk about themselves when approached, Usually it strokes their ego so it’s another strategy for networking. Not to mention good karma!

  77. Networking is still one of my biggest weaknesses. I still got a great job through a connection and luck. I really like the closing loop technique. Funny that I never thought of this before, I always thought ‘well i’ll just mail them and if they don’t answer they’re probably not interested.’ I’m currently looking for a new job and will definitely try this today. Only bad thing is that it takes weeks.

  78. From what I read and from what I’ve been able to experiment with, it’s clear you’ve developed effective strategies. The concept of just trying something out has saved my sanity. And made me more effective, which makes me happier. But for much of your work I’ve had a hard time extrapolating it from the business world to the creative world of writing and workshops in Qatar.

    However, reading this post I realized what a blind-sided idiot I’ve been. Mid-post I stopped reading. I stopped so I could immediately write a follow-up e-mail to a woman who recommended me to all her friends and colleagues to give a writing workshop – even though she’d never seen me give one! She basically took over the organization of the workshop so all I had to do was give it (priceless!) The first session of the 5-week workshop was last weekend. By the way, a participant at the workshop asked if I’d be interested in giving another workshop to a group he thinks might be interested. I thought my communication with her was done. Uh, duh. Thanks for the slap in the brain.

    So much of what I’ve been absorbing from your posts were utilized to get to that point. A variation of small talk, briefcase method, follow-ups, and on and on. Thanks for putting some useful information out there.

  79. This is outstanding advice. So glad I came across your stuff Ramit.
    Marc