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How to use Natural Networking to connect with anyone — including the exact email scripts

How many of us have heard career experts telling us to “go out there and network?”

What does that actually mean? They never seem to specify.

So we end up going to 1 or 2 pointless networking events, which actually turn out to be a bunch of unemployed people looking for jobs, until we realize the pointlessness of random networking. We stop going. But we keep hearing about the importance of our network, and we hear about how most jobs are found through personal contacts. Pretty soon, it becomes clear to us that it’s WHO you know, not WHAT you know. But we have no idea how to actually turn that realization into something actionable.

There’s a game going on around us that we don’t even see.

And today, I want to show you exactly how to decode it — along with the specific email scripts to use. If you’ve been waiting for the real story on how networking actually works, this is it.

The funny thing is, most career ‘experts’ have no specific advice about networking because they don’t know how to do it. They give high-level advice (‘add value!’) without understanding how people can turn that into action. And here we are, the sad recipients of this useless information, wondering why others seem to get ahead, but we can’t. What if we don’t even HAVE a network?

Look at these regrets

I like to study regrets. It makes me understand what people want to do, but cannot or will not. Look at these regrets I found in my Dream Job research of 20,000+ people:

‘I regret not taking advantage of the multiple networking events that occur due to the type of business my company is in. I could have made a ton of networking contacts that could have facilitated career advancement.’

‘After ~11 years, I find myself in role largely dictated by the first position I took out of college…. I’ve looked into other positions but found a reverse grass-is-greener problem — everything else seems boring or unimportant. My skills outside of my career are varied and vibrant, always expanding, but something about the daily grind has ground me down.’

‘I wish that 4 years ago when I realized I wanted to make a career change and go into psychology, I hadn’t been deterred by the application process. I could be partially through my graduate degree by now, rather than trying to figure out how I’m going to change careers, get married, and start a family. I balked because I didn’t know who to get recommendations from.’

‘Taking two full years to realize that being a “self-starter” wasn’t just a trait you were born with – it’s something that’s cultivated, aggressively…I took the “appropriate” career path, but sat back waiting for a job to come to me.’

‘I wish I would have started networking and talking to people earlier. I had always assumed that accomplishments were only worth it if you did it completely alone, but every successful person around me has a large network of people that has helped them to get there. I don’t have to do everything myself; there’s no shame in getting other people to help, especially at the stuff I’m not good at.’

‘I wish I had started early when it came to networking to find a job/make contacts while I was an undergrad…. I felt a little betrayed by my schools career development office – but have realized that I am the only person that is 100% looking out for me and my career.’

These are extraordinarily insightful and honest.

What you’re seeing is the difference between what’s IMPORTANT and what’s URGENT. It’s always urgent to respond to that email, or to watch that TV show, or to do any of the 50 things we’re confronted with each day.

But doing the important things is more difficult. Cultivating a network, managing our finances, really discovering what we love — these are things that are more important than any email. Yet we don’t do them because we wait to ‘figure it out’ later.

That’s why we put it off for one more day, then another and another. Pretty soon, 10 years have gone by and we’re in a similar job as yesterday. Or we’ve hopped from job to job, never really knowing what you want, how to find it, and how to connect it to a Dream Job. Some of us are even making 6 figures, but still not where we want to be.

So what do we do? Usually, nothing. We claim we need to ‘figure it out’ some day. For some of us, we get motivated like a sputtering engine — sending out 20 or 30 resumes in a month — but when we don’t hear back, we settle back down, resigned to our place in life.

Not cool. Not cool at all.

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We can do more than regret

I wanted to show you that you can actually take the stuff you ‘know’ you should do — managing your money, earning more, negotiating your salary, finding your passion, and even finding your Dream Job — and do it today.

Most of the time, you don’t have to wait until some mythical day when you have enough experience.

But I wasn’t sure people would actually care. See, people ‘claim’ they want to find a mentor — and I actually thought about developing a course on how to find amazing mentors — but nobody wants to pay for something like that. They ‘claim’ they want to lose weight…but adherence rates to lifestyle changes are incredibly difficult. It turns out that changing our behavior is really hard — even when we genuinely want something.

But I don’t give a damn. I knew some people would find massive value in it. The rest would skim along, nodding and saying, ‘Yeah, I should really do that…’ while others would be soaring ahead. And that’s fine — I’d rather work with the small group of people who take action than a massive group of unwashed masses who want tactic after tactic.

So let me show you the ins and outs of networking. This is material you’ve never seen anywhere else before.

How networking REALLY works

I mentioned before that I’ve been testing my Dream Job material for years. What I didn’t mention is that I’ve been testing it in ways most people don’t realize.

Here’s a segment on negotiation I did on ABC, where I tested a small tweak in negotiation advice I’d discovered. I waited for results from viewers, as well as sending this to a few of my readers to try out.

‘I was a fresh college graduate making around $32k a year. After doing a bit of studying and really putting what I learned into action, I’m now making six figures (a year and a half later). I’m revealing this because I think literally anyone can do this if they just get up and take action. It’s really cliche, but that’s what it all comes down to.
-Eric S.

‘Taking a testing approach to a project or goal can move me much more quickly to action. By choosing to take INCREMENTAL steps, the stakes don’t feel so high for a given activity. Fear of failure is reduced and it becomes much easier to stay motivated for taking action.’
-Logan Y., Dream Job Elite graduate

Testing applies to networking, as well.

Most people think networking is about being sleazy, slimy, and scammy. They imagine the slick-haired business guy flitting around a room, handing out business cards, then winking and saying ‘Catch ya later!’ Wrong, wrong, wrong. This is a false dichotomy people concoct to avoid learning how networking really works. It’s easier to be disgusted by networking than to learn how to do it right — a classic preemptive defense mechanism.

Unfortunately, the dismissive pleasure is short-lived. While you say ‘Networking is sleazy,’ other people are getting ahead — ethically and rapidly.

I call this ‘Natural Networking,’ because it truly is natural. In fact, many of the journalists and CEOs I know will read this. They won’t be alarmed or skeeved out. THAT is how comfortable I am revealing these methods — because not only are they effective, but I can share them publicly.

The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s far more powerful to spend a week trying to meet with one person than a week trying to go to random networking events. In this case, ‘less is more’ is true — it’s far more effective to focus and meet interesting, relevant people than to blindly throw your business cards into the wind. I don’t even think I have business cards any more.

Top performers build their network BEFORE they need it. That’s how they can get laid off on a Monday and have a better job lined up by Friday. Read that sentence again, please — it means that top performers are comfortable meeting people and cultivating relationships with no specific purpose. In fact, it’s almost always to help the other person!

Now, the Dream Job course covers natural networking in depth, including the specific words to use in emails and even in coffee-shop conversations. Today, I want to show you how to get started. And I intend for this free material to rival any paid material on natural networking, anywhere.

The first step to natural networking

We’ve all heard about ‘informational interviews’ but few of us do it. What is it? How does it work? And how can you use subtle techniques to make an informational interview help you — and more importantly, the other person — even if you have seemingly little to offer?

First, an informational interview is an opportunity to meet someone you’re curious about and learn from them. Maybe you’re curious what a Product Manager really does. Maybe you want to know what the culture at IDEO is like. That’s what an informational interview allows you to do.

Second, THIS IS NOT WEIRD. What’s weird is a bunch of whiny 20- and 30-somethings doing the same damned mindless resume submitting, then wondering why they don’t have jobs. Are you seriously kidding me? Informational interviews are one of the most powerful techniques in your Dream Job arsenal, yet because they seem ‘weird’, people don’t do them. You continue thinking they’re weird while I sail around in a flying car paid for by my Dream Job, which I got because I used effective informational interviews. I hate you.

Next, people WANT to meet with smart people. That means you, if you send a great email, have incisive questions, and are interesting. People do not want to meet with idiots, which includes people who…

  • Ask worthless questions (‘Dear Ramit, what should I do with my money?? Uh….read the last 8 years of my site’)
  • Ramble (‘Hi I’m blah blah and I’m really interested in blah blah and once when I was a kid we went to the park and blah blah and…well I guess this got really long, so…yeah. Thanks for reading.)
  • Only talk about themselves (Hi Mr. Senior Exec at a Fortune 100 company, let me tell you about my background, what I studied in school, what I’m interested in….? You are there to LEARN FROM THE IMPORTANT PERSON. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU AND YOUR STUPID INTERESTS).

Ok, so let’s talk about what makes a great informational interview.

Here are the people who have reached out to me, stood out, met with me, and I’ve helped them find jobs (or even hired them myself). By the way, I’m not that important, but I’m just using myself as an example of someone who gets a lot of emails/day (600+) so it’s challenging to reach me.

  • They reached out through a warm contact. If they didn’t have one, they spent the time to find one by studying who I know. (The info is out there, you lazy asses. Facebook, Twitter, 8 million pages I’ve written, the ‘Acknowledgements’ page of my book. And this isn’t just about me, it’s about any busy person you want to meet.)
  • They explained any similarities we had. An alum reaches out to me who seems genuine? I’ll almost always take a phone call or, if convenient, a coffee meeting. Maybe they grew up in my hometown, or went to my high school. Even I have a small semblance of emotion, leading me to occasionally act like a normal human being.
  • They reached out with a BRIEF, CONCISE EMAIL. I will show you the exact words to use in my Dream Job course so you don’t instantly eliminate yourself.
  • They met with me and asked very insightful questions. GOOD: I noticed you did XYZ. It’s interesting because Very-Important-Person took a different approach and did ABC. What was your thinking? BAD: I’m so unhappy at my job. What should I do with my life? Ugh. Get a bowl of soup and a therapist. That’s not the kind of question you ask at an informational interview.
  • They asked questions for 90% of the informational interview, interjecting insightful comments once in a while, showing that they’d done their homework. In the last 10%, they mentioned what they were working on and asked for advice. When they were especially impressive/likeable, I offered to introduce them to people I know, or outright offered to hire them.
  • They never outright asked for a job, which you never, ever do in an informational interview. They also gave me an ‘out’ in case I couldn’t/didn’t want to help them.
  • NOTE: These were not all the most socially smooth people. Some of them were downright socially awkward. Doesn’t matter! Sometimes, awkward can be endearing! Not everyone is Rico Suave. But the very best showed a remarkable level of preparation, which anyone can do — but few actually do.

As a result, many of these people stood out among tens of thousands of others who left comments/emails/tweets. Not only do the very best top performers have an uncanny ability to reach extremely busy people, but they can turn a one-time meeting into a long-term relationship. And over time, that is worth more than almost any technical skill or amount of experience.


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Use these email scripts to meet anyone

Follow these steps:

  1. Brainstorm list of 10 people you’d like to could connect with. Start with these people: People who have a job title you’re interested in learning more about. People who work at companies you’re interested in potentially working at. And people who are doing interesting things you want to learn more about (e.g., you read about them in a magazine/blog post).
  2. Get their email address. If you can’t find this you fail at life. But you read this site so I suspect you’re cool.
  3. Use these scripts — from an upcoming course I’m launching.

How to set up an informational interview

An informational interview is an opportunity to meet someone who works in a position or industry you’d like to work in, where you can ask them questions about their job and get the inside scoop.

Never, ever directly ask for a job in an informational interview. That’s a big no-no. You can turn an informational interview into a potential job opportunity, but only if you approach it wisely. Here’s the first step of that process: The email introduction for an informational interview.

By the way, the best place to get informational interviews is via your alumni association. People who went to the same college have a bond with each other, even decades later.

To: Jane
From: Samantha
Subject: Michigan State grad — would love to chat about your work at Deloitte

Hi Jane,

My name is Samantha Kerritt. I’m a ’04 grad from Michigan State (I know you were a few years before me) and I came across your name on our alumni site. [TELL THEM HOW YOU CAME ACROSS THEIR NAME SO YOU DON’T SEEM LIKE A CREEP]

I’d love to get your career advice for 15-20 minutes. I’m currently working at Acme Tech Company, but many of my friends work in consulting and each time they tell me how much they love their job, I get more interested. [THE FIRST SENTENCE SAYS WHAT SHE WANTS. MOST PEOPLE ARE FLATTERED THAT PEOPLE WANT/VALUE THEIR ADVICE.

Most of them have told me that if I’m interested in consulting, I have to talk to someone at Deloitte. Do you think I could pick your brain on your job and what motivated you to choose Deloitte? I’d especially love to know how you made your choices after graduating from Michigan State. [THE PHRASE ?PICK YOUR BRAIN? IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO ASK FOR ADVICE AND FLATTER, AND “MICHIGAN STATE” REINFORCES SHARED BOND]

I can meet you for coffee or at your office…or wherever it’s convenient. I can work around you! [THE BUSY PERSON IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU. TREAT THEM ACCORDINGLY.]




How to ask for recommendations for people to talk to

Hello John,

Hope all is well.

If you recall, we spoke a few months ago when I was exploring new career opportunities in information security (I was your student at the time). Thanks again for agreeing to be my reference! [REMIND THE BUSY PERSON HOW YOU KNOW EACH OTHER

I was browsing the the Acme Career site the other day and the Research Scientist role caught my eye. I think it?d be perfect for me considering my work on insider threat-related projects at Current Company. [NOTE THAT THE FOCUS OF THIS EMAIL IS ASKING FOR RECOMMENDATIONS, NOT DIRECTLY ASKING FOR A JOB. JOHN UNDERSTANDS YOU?RE LOOKING FOR WORK AND DOESN?T WANT TO BE PUT ON THE SPOT. IF HE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE POSITION, HE WILL.]

From what I remember, it sounds pretty similar to the work you do at Acme. By any chance, do you know of anyone there that you think I should chat with? I?d love to learn more about the role so I can see if it?s the right fit for me.

If not, no problem ? just wanted to keep you in the loop. Thanks again for all your help!

Take care,

You now have both the tactics (the email scripts) as well as a strategic approach (narrowing down your networking, focusing on helping others, and understanding the power dynamic).

All in one day.

The powerful results of Natural Networking

Don’t just listen to me. Look at these student results:

I was about to close the loop with some of my [contacts] when they both contacted me. It appears I have allies willing to help me out… it?s crazy how rapidly this stuff changes.
– Chris C., Dream Job Elite graduate

?I used to think I was really good at networking, but this module showed me what a novice I was. It took natural networking to a whole different (and higher) level. I always got stuck with what to do after I sent the thank you notes from my coffee meetings. Now I know how to follow up with the closing the loop technique. This would have taken me YEARS to figure out, if at all.?
– Annie L., Dream Job Elite graduate

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

I have over 10+ hours of detail on Natural Networking in the upcoming course, including more email scripts and a powerful tactic that has resulted in invitations to international conferences, TV appearances, and job offers. (I’ll be sharing more of this with the people on my free Dream Job Insider’s list. Click here to join.)

To Do Today

What will you do with this? Will you nod and shrug and say, Yeah, I should really do this…?

Or will you identify 10 people, emailing all of them, knowing that 2-3 will get back to you and agree to talk?

This isn’t URGENT. But it is important. And a year from now, you can be in the same place…or you can have built relationships with superb people, helping them, and knowing that they want to help you, too.

I want you to take action today. I want you to know that natural networking is not about being sleazy, slimy, or scammy. It’s about helping others and doing more preparation than anyone else so they want to help you.

Do this:

Brainstorm 10 people you want to or should meet. Get their email addresses. Use the scripts above. Schedule and take the coffee meetings. Use second script to ask for referrals for other informational interviews.

I gave you one pitch in this post: “Can I pick your brain?? I cover more in the Dream Job course. But today I want to challenge you to come up with great pitches yourself. Leave a comment with your best one below.

Wish you could connect with more amazing people, and not feel awkward in social situations? Download our FREE Ultimate Guide To Habits below.


  • Maria

    Thanks Ramit! Love the scripts! Exactly what I was looking for! :D

    • jack foley

      I think one needs to be careful with the "othe job offer". As you know, a lot of business owners will not be held to ransom by anyone. If you use this technique, make sure you are ready to leave as some employers will not entertain your from of blackmail at least in Europe anyways - same in the states?

    • David

      Ramit, what an insightful course on natural networking. I am literally so excited to begin. One of the biggest challenges is deciding What To Do and How To Do it. Thanks for narrowing it down for us! My top ten is complete and now its time to do my homework and develop a game plan. I sure would appreciate that consultation just to purely and genuinely say thanks for the work you do and how its changing my business.

  • Erin

    These are fantastic ideas. I have one specific question: you frequently advise people to contact potential mentors in order to "pick their brains." As a freelance writer, I often hear from people using this exact phrase and I find it annoying -- to me, it signals that they have no idea what they want and are going to ask endless, broad, worthless questions. In fact, your friend Tim Ferriss once said in a Mixergy interview that when talking to people who can help you, "I think the way that you do that is number one, never asking to pick their brain." (He says it tends to lead to open-ended conversations with no termination points.) Link to the transcript is here: http://mixergy.com/tim-ferriss-live-interview/ Can you talk about why you think "pick your brain" is a good phrase when another top performer in the field suggests it's actually the *worst* thing you can do?

    • Collin

      Erin, I noticed this same thing and remembered the same interview! Ramit, are there better phrases to use than "pick your brain"?

    • Dani

      I'm no Ramit, but I would be just as annoyed as Tim by "pick your brain". I prefer something more specific and brief-sounding. Like instead of "can I pick your brain about," maybe "can I ask you a few questions about". But then I think that this is probably the exact kind of nitpicking that Ramit warns us away from. If we've hit all of the points that Ramit suggests in a good networking email, they're not going to be like "Oh my god, you said you were going to pick my brain, hell no, this is going to be interminable." They'll be like "Well, you already said only 15-20 minutes, and you told me what you wanted to ask about, so you clearly have a pretty focused idea."

    • Elaine

      Well, with experience we'll all develop our own scripts that work for our personalities and industries. I would think "pick your brain" is the opposite of the confidence trigger, and I try to signal in a brief phrase what topic I want to ask about. But perhaps Ramit's point is that a careful use of a conversational tone is a good idea for setting the mood. Also worth noting, that you wouldn't use the same tone with a Jr Associate than the CEO, just like you could have a different tone with a warm contact verses a cold one.

    • Christine Gerardi

      I am not Ramit and don't pretend to be, but what I think he meant was don't ever ask to meet with someone and not be thoroughly prepared. By "pick their brain" it means be methodical about the research and direct and concise with the questions you ask. Show respect for the other persons time by having a clear purpose.

  • Andrew Klimek

    Hi Ramit! Perfect timing for this post, on my end. Last friday I posted to my alumni's LinkedIn group: "I am interviewing people on their career paths for my own learning and for material that will eventually appear on my blog (with your permission of course)." So far I've spoken with 4 very cool people, one of whom is in the exact role I'd like to have soon! Thanks again for your prompting.

    • Elaine

      Wow. I would have been too shy to do something like that on Linkedin. That's a really good idea though. I'm actually going to try that with a couple of industry groups.

    • Donnie

      Don't be a robot. There are plenty of other words or phrases to use. Not everyone has the same personality; therefore, not everyone should utilize the same style of speech.

  • Sachit Gupta

    Here's one I use thats worked amazingly well (I think I got it from you or a blog you referred). First, I introduce myself, where I found them and exactly what I want to learn about. Then: "I know you're probably very busy, but if possible, I'd love to buy you coffee and hear how you got such a leg up over everyone in such a competitive field. I'm really interested in getting into [field I'm interested in (which is the field they work in)] role at [type of organization (which is exactly the type of organization they work at - so opens the door for job opportunities)], and I would love to hear your story. If yes, do any of these times work for you: [times] Happy to meet at other times too if something else works better."

  • PJ

    Great post once again! Here is my pitch that I've used to land me one job already, tickets to any hockey game I want with a local team and multiple other connections that built out my growing network: "Hi I'm reaching out to the local community to build support for the Marine reservists in the area, how would you like to bring your team down to climb around one of my M1A1 Tanks and show your support?" Oh and if you'd like to show your support feel free to contact me!

  • Chris

    "I am interested in your insights about this career and/or job position" Great Information Ramit. Can't Wait To Hear more.

  • Gregory Ciotti

    I was going to leave this comment to talk about me, but let's talk about you Ramit... Seriously though, fantastic post, I'm a long time lurker but I had to leave some meaningless praise for this post, well done.

  • Dan McClure

    Can I take a little of your time to survey your insights as an accomplished blank?

    • Donna P

      I like that. You promise to be brief; you say what you want (insights); and it is somewhat flattering.

  • Mr. G

    "Fifteen minutes of your time for advice would impact years of my life. I wonder if we could meet"

  • Matt

    This... is... awesome. I already have big plans to use these techniques.

  • Kaneisha | The Art of Applying

    This is great advice! I even got paid to teach these networking to my classmates at Harvard Business School. I teach very similar scripts to my admissions consulting clients as well: http://vimeo.com/theartofapplying/review/33493927/00ddfb0e4d. It's freaky how similar the email scripts are to my Message That Always Works. I guess great minds think--and act--alike!

    • Nelson

      This is great Kaneisha. Interesting to see you're at HBS. I actually have an informational meeting with the Exec Ed team next week :)

  • Bill

    My nomination for "pick your brain" replacement: "I'd love to talk about what has made you successful." This really **is** what you want to talk about—how this person achieved the success you want to emulate. It's flattering (but not excessively so), transparent, and to the point. It leaves the door open for plenty of other topics—such as where the industry is headed and what success will look like in the future. And it's worked well for me.

  • Henry C.

    Good morning, Mr. Steve, My name is Henry and I love reading your travel guides and watching your Rick Steve's travel shows on PBS for the sense of freedom they engender. I would love to pick your brain for 15 or 20 minutes to better understand how you got started with your TV show, what drives you to continue publishing travel guides and producing new episodes, and what advice you might have for a mid-30s corporate manager looking to break from his routine and build a line of work that satisfies his wanderlust and desire for location independence. May I email you or call you again to set up a time to chat? -Henry C.

    • K00kyKelly

      This is way too vague. Here is something directly from Rick Steve's website: Does Rick have any tips on how to get into TV production? Breaking into TV production requires lots of money and something viable to make into TV. I don't think you can want to produce TV first. You need to have accidently been preparing to produce TV without knowing it for a decade and then proceed. The equation for making TV production a viable business is nearly impossible without lots of hard work, luck, and money.

    • Anca

      Would also help if you spelled his name right. It's Steves not Steve.

  • Chandana

    Fantastic post! Thank you, thank you, thank you Ramit! I will not just nod and say "I should do this....". I will really do it today.Now.

  • Lisa Fine

    "I'd love to get the inside scoop on [ABC Company/Organization]..." I know, you may make fun of this one, but I figure if I would say "inside scoop" in person, then I might as well write it in an email.

  • LIndsay

    This might not be a help on a national level but I live in a midsize town and as I've been building my network since being back (15 months or so) in this, my hometown, I am interested in meeting people who are involved in the community. OFten when I ask for an informational interview I pitch it as learning from them how to be more invested in the community. People who truly care about the community and the authenticity of a place will help someone newer/younger/whatever become invested in that place. As an aside, I will back Ramit up in saying this is not as "weird" or scary as it sems. My local independent paper lists the "100 most powerful" people in my community every year and I managed to speak with 40 of them in 6 months. The only thing I would do differently is narrow more to the people who are most like me and interested in the same things and focus on them. Definitely an experience that has made me much more fearless in building networking relationships.

  • Dino Koutsoukos

    You know, I just used a version of this sagely advice to reach out to a very interesting individual in an industry I'm hoping to infiltrate. I asked him out to "pick his brain" over coffee, and we ended up talking about our families and having dinner! Now if I could only get the POTUS out for a beer summit...

  • Johnny Mean

    I cannot believe you post this for free!

  • Greg

    This worked well for me when I was looking to meet influential folks in the music industry in my region last year: Hey [Name], I was hoping I might be able to pop in and grab 15-20 minutes of your time sometime over the next week or so. [A bit bold perhaps, but I learned that being up front with the ask was appreciated by busy people] Quick intro: my name is Greg Bates and by day I work for [High Profile Social Media Firm]. I also manage [Artist A], do social/web strategy for [Artist B], as well as some previous work with [Artist C]. [His artist] is also an old friend of mine and it's awesome to see how well he's doing with you guys. I'm a big fan of the job you guys are doing pushing some of the best acts on the East Coast, and it would be great to meet up for a few minutes to chat about the strategy behind cultivating your bands' audiences so successfully. Let me know if you have a few minutes to meet up over the next week or two - it would be great to connect! Cheers, Greg

  • Kate

    Really great post. I'm the type of person that rereads my networking emails a gazillion times hitting send -- which is good in terms of typos, but sometimes I lose the impact. It's ridiculously helpful to have some great scripts to work off of. Thanks!

  • George

    "I have three specific questions on XYZ that I would love to get your insight on over a cup of coffee. Could I get 20 minutes of your time?" Reasoning: - These people are incredibly busy. This message lets them know you have a specific agenda and one that is limited (talk about three questions over 20 minutes, and go home). - Foot in the door -- it is easier for them to say yes to having a meeting than it is for them if you email your three questions and they have to spend 60 minutes typing a response back (which they probably won't, your email will just go in the trash folder). - Measure of intrigue in that they don't know exactly what you will be asking. Gets them curious/makes them want to meet up to see what your questions are. Especially powerful if you establish in your introduction that you've done your research or are in a similar position to where they once were. -George

  • Mark

    This is just what I was looking for Ramit, thanks! "I have already spoken with numerous friends in the field, but would be particularly interested in any feedback you can provide given you're accomplishments in ___ and ___." "I would greatly appreciate any pearls of wisdom that you can share!"

  • SB

    Great advice! How would these email scripts be adapted to re-connect with contacts from years ago? Clearly, networking requires continuous attention so that contacts aren't lost over time...which is something I'm taking action on now.

  • Sam

    Since I already freelance and love it, I find my networking needs lie in getting meetings with potential clients who don't know who I am. I work as a stylist in advertising photography and so I need to work constantly on making sure people know I exist, exposing them to my work and then constantly reminding them without hounding. I also worry I'll simply be doing what every other stylist is doing, kinda like our version of carpet bombing resumes. Call/email, show portfolio, talk about who I've worked with, me me me, follow up with the odd email promo and then wonder why I am not getting hired or being forgotten. So here is the pitch I have put together after reading your post. I think it reflects a lot of what you've been teaching us regarding decommoditizing and making yourself stand out from the crowd, as well as putting the focus on my subject and giving me a chance to do some research on how to do my jib better and really understand my clients' needs. If they ask to see my work or want to discuss doing a project together because they like me then bonus but I will wait for them to start that conversation. "Hi! I'm an advertising and lifestyle prop and wardrobe stylist who has worked with [insert name of warm contact] and I'm currently putting aside some time to further develop my skills and focus on what's really important to photographers when it comes to hiring a stylist for a project. I've had a look through your website and especially enjoyed the look of the XYZ campaign you shot. I'd love the opportunity to spend 15 - 20 mins with you to discuss your decision making process with regards to stylists and what your expectations are when working with them. Would it be possible to drop by your studio sometime next week?"

  • Will Grubb

    Dear (SIR,MADAM,DOCTOR, YOUR HONOR) Ramit .. I truly enjoyed your recent (BLOG POST, TWEET, ARTICLE) regarding (SUBJECT,TOPIC,EVENT) and would appreciate an opportunity to meet you in person. Your time is valuable, so I am willing to meet you anywhere at anytime when you are in (PORTLAND,STUMPTOWN,RIPCITY,BRIDGETOWN OREGON). My (NEED,GOAL,PURPOSE) desire is to learn more from you on the (TOPIC,SUBJECT) of (X,Y,Z,BLOG POST, TWEET, ARTICLE). In return for your time and consideration, I would be happy to (DONATE BLOOD, DONATE MONEY, VOLUNTEER TIME) to your charity of choice, and encourage my extensive network to do the same in your honor. A venti of your choice, or a full meal (BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER) at your preferred venue would also be my great pleasure to provide. Have you enjoyed (PORTLAND CITY GRILLE, VOODOO DONUTS, SALTYS SEAFOOD) before? They offer fantastic Pacific Northwest (FRESH LOCAL FOOD, FINE LOCAL WINES) cuisine with breathtaking views of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and the greater Portland Metro area, including our beautiful Willamette and Columbia rivers. Next time you are in (PORTLAND,STUMPTOWN,RIPCITY,BRIDGETOWN) please consider ringing, writing or texting me to finalize arrangements. I look forward to meeting you in person, and listening closely to your most valuable insights regarding (SUBJECT, TOPIC, COMPANY). Thank you for your time and attention. Warm regards, Will | M:(###) 519-2690 PS .. I am happy to accept any invitation to connect via LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/willgrubb

    • Elaine

      Whoa. First off, you realize you are requiring them to do a lot of work, right? THEY need to remember YOU when they happen to be in town??? So if that is six months from now you expect them to take the time and effort to contact you? What's wrong with YOU CALLING THEM. A phone call can happen anywhere, and its far less invasive into someone's schedule. Either go to where they are, or pick up the phone. You don't seriously offer to donate blood in exchange, right? Less is more. Unless you are in the Portland Tourism bureau, why do you spend so much time on this? It makes someone want to stop reading. PS - Little forward. I would ask for a Linkedin connection AFTER I had informational interview. You're throwing a lot at them at once. It would freak me out if I was the recipient.

    • Anca

      Yikes. Your message is creepy / socially bizarre. Ditto what Elaine said.

  • Steven

    The best pitch is the one you send.

  • Eric S.

    Straight to the pitch: " I'd love to hear your take on the direction of the industry and what a career path at Acme looks like from the inside. Could I buy you coffee sometime at your convenience, or speak with you on the phone to discuss? " - Note the subtle flattery from "hear your take" and nod to the value of their experience. You also designate them as an insider, one with knowledge, thus establishing the power relationship THEY want.

  • Jaime

    I'll see what better ones I can come up with, but this pitch has definitely helped open doors for me: "I’m trying to get some information on {subject}, and since {your team did an excellent job with that}, I thought you might be the best person to reach out to." First time I used it, the incredibly busy person got back to me after 8 days. Seriously, 8 days later and they were still excited to follow up and make stuff happen.

  • Ben Hesketh

    Dear [Name of person] I spoke to [mutual current/ex-colleague] about your work at Acme Corp on the Explosive Widget project [really hard/successful]. He mentioned that you had moved on to [current position] at [better company]. I'm currently working as a junior widget wrangler and would like to ask you about how you transitioned from widgets to explosive widgets. [blah blah, 10-15 minutes, blah blah coffee, blah blah meet you whereever you want because you are busy] Thanks, Ben

  • Tio Pedro

    If you can swing it, my replacement pitch for “Can I pick your brain?” is "In my current position, I'm doing ABC. I've a few ideas on how what you're doing in XYZ can be a complement to that, and I'd like to explore more." So you position yourself as an unpaid biz dev guy.

    • Sonja

      This to me screams like 'I want to sell you something! Let me sell you something!' I'd not accept your invitation for a coffee.

  • C G

    Here is one I sent out 10 minutes prior to reading this post (I will post an improved 'after' version shortly). Bob, [Reference] and [Reference] have suggested that I get in touch with you for a coffee when I am next downtown. With [Prev. Employers] [City] office recently closed, where I had been for 6 years, I have been chasing down some other opportunities and will next be in the core on Tuesday & Wednesday of next week. If you schedule permits time for a coffee on Tuesday morning or Wednesday afternoon I would be grateful to get reacquainted and hear your take on how you see the market behaving downtown in the near future. Best regards, C

  • Reid

    I love you.

  • Michelle Mercurio

    Ramit, We met in NYC in 2009 at a DeVry University forum for career experts to discuss trends and futures of in-demand careers. I served as facilitator for the event and moderated participant questions and insights. Since then, I’ve followed your courses and webinars and continue to be impressed. I’d like to take that 30 minute coaching call with you to ask you about your no-bullshit approach, your top branding strategies (and mistakes you’ve made) and, if we have time, your thoughts on my next career steps. I’m available at your convenience. Thank you for your insights and great material, Michelle

  • Ben Hesketh

    Ramit, What do you do when you can't meet somebody face to face?

  • Collin

    To: Ramit From: Collin Subject: Mock me PLEASE (so I can learn my flaws) Hi Ramit, My name is Collin _____. I've been reading your blog for a while now and because you're so devilishly clever at calling people idiots, I've turned several other people onto your work. This way you can call them idiots so I don't have to. I’d love to get your advice for 15-20 minutes. I'm working on a few side projects and as a result my public image will become steadily more important. I wanted to learn what you've found are the most effective ways to build and maintain your personal "brand". I'm also curious as to what you consider to be the biggest mistakes in this area. Your advice is especially valuable because you maintain that wonderful balance of being mostly liked even though you're an asshole sometimes. Actually, you could probably knock this out in under 10 minutes. I'm happy to chat via Skype at your convenience. I know you're busy so if you don't have time, no worries, but thanks for the consideration. Regards, Collin ____

  • Br

    Ramit - I'm on your lists but rarely comment or even follow up on most of your (great, but not always *urgently* relevant for me!) content. This post hit the nail on the head for me, addressing the internal debates I've been having lately - I have a great first job in consulting after graduating with a degree on engineering last May. The job isn't 100% a perfect fit, and I know I probably want to eventually switch industries BUT have no clarity on what types of roles I *do* want or what companies I'm interested in. Natural networking is the type of "job searching" I need to be doing. I have started building my list and an excited to identify more potential contacts from there. Here's the pitch I'm starting with: "Hello (person), I am a 2011 grad from (university). I found your contact information via (linked in/alumni network). As a fellow (major or B.S./B.A.), I am interested in how you built up your skills in the area of (what they're doing that I think is cool) after launching your career. Do you think I could ask you a few questions on your path from (where they started their career) to (the career path I'm interested in)?"

  • C G

    As promised ;-) here is a 'post-Ramit' email I just sent. Wayne, It has been a long time since we have last chatted and I am hoping we might be able to remedy that a bit next week. Since [Prev. Employer] closed their office here I have been providing some independent consulting services to a few of the junior's and I thought, with your related experience in the industry, you would be a great source to provide some critical feedback regarding some of the routes that I've been approaching. I would like to make some time for you when I am in the core again early next week. Will you be available to chat over a coffee early on Tuesday afternoon or in the later morning on Wednesday? Best regards, C [Note: This makes contact number 8 for me since I started working on this again after watching Ramit's Monday night webcast - planning to get the next 2 within the next hour]

    • Elaine

      I actually liked the first sentence of your original post better . This second paragraph is better here though because it sounds less like you are obviously looking for a job. It might be better if you were more specific about the topic of conversation. Third paragraph makes it sound like you are really busy (in-demand is good, but inconvient for your contact is not good). Consider asking for a meeting first, and on the second contact discuss scheduling.

  • emma

    This email script is awesome. Just a few days ago I came across a bio of someone I'm totally interested in getting to know professionally (and hopefully working for eventually), but was not sure at all how to email her without sounding like a stalker. Now I know what to write in my email. Thanks!

  • Chris

    Hi Ramit -- I wanted to avoid the "pick your brain pitch" as well, for reasons noted by Erin and Colin above. My alternative is: "I read through your LinkedIn Profile and thought about our previous conversations about your roles in different companies, and I wanted to ask about how permission and loyalty marketing played a part in your projects." Sub [LinkedIn Profile / prev conversations] with blog posts, book, panel, etc. Sub [permission and loyalty marketing] with your specific area of focus. Borrowed this approach from Michael Ellsberg and applied it to my situation. Great post, this bootcamp is what I needed. Can't wait for more.

    • Michael Schoonmaker

      This is one of the better "pick your brain" alternatives, methinks. Ellsberg was the first person I thought of when I heard Ramit recommending "pick your brain" as a key phrase. Here's his thoughts, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelellsberg/2011/08/31/how-to-network-your-way-to-world-class-mentors-the-thiel-fellowship-lecture-part-3/2/

  • Michelle

    "Can I pick your brain?" Submission Dear Remit, Your site was recommended to me by the photographer, Chase Jarvis. On his website you talked about extensive research that you had carried out to develop Earn 1k, and Dream Job. This led to the discovery of the hidden script of "I need to figure it out". These insights have been very useful in changing my focus from thoughts to testable actions. I am interested in the kind of research that led you to these hidden scripts. Could we have coffee to discuss your work. Cheers Michelle

    • Magda

      you may want to get the name right ;P

    • Michelle

      Well I guess I am out of the running! :P Kinda embarrasing, this is why I prefer talking on the phone or in person - no one can tell I'm dyslexic. I have improved a lot though. I learnt to spell through predictive text on a nokia.

  • Matt K

    Pitch: "[Insert name here], what's your secret?" Phrasing it this way is flattering and could prompt the person to want to "share" it with you, or debase it as a "secret" by revealing a "simple" method they used. What are your thoughts?

  • Matt K

    Pitch: "[Insert name here], what's your secret?" Phrasing it this way is flattering and could prompt the person to want to "share" it with you, or debase it as a "secret" by revealing a "simple" method they used. What are your thoughts?

    • Elaine

      OR... it could sound like you have no familiarity with the industry or their background.

    • Liz DiMascio

      I'm not a big fan of "what's your secret." Most people wouldn't have an answer to that question. It's not as if one thing made all the difference. It also sounds like you think they have some secret formula to success - it takes away the value of the hard work and long hours they probably put in. If someone asked me what my "secret" was, I'd probably assume they wanted some quick easy answer to success, and didn't really want in depth advice.

  • Amos

    Looking for work in a foreign country, I made a connection with a guy with whom I had no mutual connections and a language barrier. After setting up how I found his information (LinkedIn) and tried to get him interested in me and show him I'm actually a good person deep-down (I was volunteering and had an interesting project), I asked for a meeting using this language: "I am a student... looking for more experience working in Data mining and statistics in Argentina, and I see from your profile and website that this is a topic that you know a lot about. If you are also interested, I would very much like to meet with you in a coffee shop to talk for a half an hour about your current projects and how you got to be where you are."

  • Sean

    "I'm new to this field, and have great respect for the work you have done, particularly in (concrete example) and (second concrete example). I would love the opportunity to meet and gain some insights that may help in my career. Would you be able to spare some time to meet at your office?

  • Cristina

    "I would love to hear any insight you may have about the industry and your experience at XYZ company. Do you have 15-20 minutes to chat next week, on the phone or over coffee? I really appreciate your consideration."

  • Stephanie

    "After hearing about your [job / portfolio / background] from [contact's close acquaintance], I couldn't wait to get in touch with you - it's the work that you do that makes me so passionate about this field!"

  • Jeff M.

    Ramit, Thanks as always for the sound advice and practical action steps to keep your IWTYTBR community ahead of the curve. Below is the pitch I used in an email I sent out to a bestselling sales/marketing author whose book helped me increase my sales 22% over a six month period (Which I made sure to mention in my opener). It resulted in not only a response, but an offer on his end to speak via telephone and a number of signed copies of his other books. After sharing the positive results that had a direct correlate to his advice, I asked him: "Looking back to the beginning of your career path, what were the three most formidable challenges that you faced and how did you successfully conquer them?" I am a huge proponent of working smarter, and I thought that allowing this contact to reflect on how he defeated his greatest obstacles while also sharing that insight with someone else would be a mutually beneficial situation. Thankfully, I was right and to anyone who constantly creates those false mental constructs that Ramit talks about, the first step in defeating them IS and always will be taking action. Thanks, Jeff

  • Aline

    Just make sure people who you gonna send these emails don't know about these scripts :)

  • adam k

    how about something like... "I know you are incredibely busy but if we could set up a brief meeting I would really appreciate the chance to learn some of your insights about XYZ"

  • Jesse

    "are you with me?" anytime i have to explain something to a person - whether in an interview, teaching art techniques or cooking instructions i ask "are you with me?" to see if they get it, have questions or are lost. I discovered using a blunt "do you understand?" or "Understand?" or similar phrases, were to aggressive(IE translates into "what are you, stupid?") turning them negative quickly if they didn't totally get it, or would make them clam up if they did have a possible question, or if i was trying to get something, start working against me. Are you with me just flows right into anything you're saying/doing. naturally! -J PS: great info so far. I've been starting to work the informational interview via email and social media sites and this course came at just the right time. Icing on the cake!

  • Kevin McLoughlin

    Hey Ramit, I've been following your Dream Job Boot Camp series, and attended Monday's Resume-Teardown webinar - I've already used what I learned 48 hours ago to improve my resume, and a friend's. Here is the copied text of an email pitch I sent to F.W. de Klerk - Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa - in 2010. Having been a national leader during the Cold War, and the man to release Nelson Mandela from prison, he's a pretty interesting guy. I hope you'll enjoy the response I received from him. As a side note, this message was one of my early attempts at getting in contact with 'un-contactable' people, and as you'll notice, I didn't have much of an aim in mind other than to get his thoughts on a couple issues. That said, of all the emails I've improved upon using your material, this one is my favourite. I've copied the email's text below, and scanned & uploaded both the email I sent, and the one I received in response, to Flickr. You can find them here at this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmcloughlin/ -- Dear Mr. De Klerk, I'm a student who attended a speech you made at DePauw University in May, and was inspired by one of your comments to contact you. In the few months before hearing you speak, I'd heard many speakers list the world's challenges (terrorism, famine, climate change); but, when you made your point about "diversity as the main challenge" facing society today, I felt as though you'd identified the deeper cause that linked together all of the superficial challenges listed by the other speakers (Steven Levitt, Karl Rove, Howard Dean). For the past few months, there have been two questions on my mind that I've desperately wanted to ask you. First, was there a specific book, person, conversation - life experience - that led you to this conclusion? Was there an epiphany? Second, if you could insert one experience into the education of every American student, in the hopes of leading them to the same conclusion as your own, what would it be? I'd be delighted to hear from you. Sincerely, - Kevin McLoughlin -- Kevin McLoughlin (416) 425-7006 kevin@climb-foracure.com

  • Azam

    Hi guys, My friend gave me a contact in a company in another state, but he's the hiring manager (the guy I'll be interviewing with). I want to take the "dream job" approach to getting hired at this place and find out more info to use in the interview (and briefcase technique etc.) How would I do that without it turning in to the interview itself? How should I change the script?

  • Chris

    To: Ali From: Chris Subject: Packaged goods ad exec -- would love to chat about your work at BBDO! Hi Ali, My name is Chris Albert. You'd interviewed me a little over 3 years ago--despite a lack of experience, you admired my industry savvy and overall spunk. I've kept up with your blog since then and noticed you made a move over to a major retail account at BBDO. I've love to hear your take on the future of retail for 15-20 minutes, if at all possible. I currently work on a major packaged goods account at Leo Burnett, but have felt the itch to work on a retail brand that still has a huge presence in an industry dominated by e-commerce. I have a hunch that you'd be a well of information about the retail industry and hope you can shed some light on your work at BBDO. I'd especially love to know what your transition has been like coming on to a major retail account from a mid-level packaged goods one. I can meet you for a coffee whenever or wherever is most convenient for you--I hear Cora's just the down the street from your office is great. Either way, I'll work around your schedule. Think you'd be interested? Thanks, Chris

    • Elaine

      That last paragraph is really endearing. I like the way you are flexible, but your suggestion shows you are thoughtful without being pushy/forward. Your contact can just say, "Uh, sure" without even having to do the work of thinking about it. Definitely using that line.

  • Billy

    Ramit, We've never met. I checked on LinkedIn and it turns out we have no contacts in common. About the only thing that we share is that you went to Stanford and I went to Duke, which are two schools that are both often referred to as "the Harvard of" our specific region. I'm currently working abroad in China, where I've lived for the past 5 years. I'm contemplating moving back to the US, and I am interested in your insights on doing networking in a target city from long distance (i.e. it's not possible to meet people in person). Based on the valuable content you've provided on your blog and email lists, I know I would benefit immensely from a 30 min Skype call with you to help me get the ball rolling on my transition. Also, if you need to know a good dimsum place in Beijing, feel free to hit me up. Would you be available for a call? Thanks, Billy

    • Elaine

      Have you tried this out on anyone else? Has it actually worked? I'm abroad too, when I network back to the USA, I NEVER ask for a SKYPE call. After someone has agreed to talk, I get their normal phone number and using Skype, I call their land-line for about $.02 a minute. That costs nothing and is convenient for the other person. Understand, that you're requiring someone to do more work and something outside their normal routine. Also, your pitch is pretty long and the first two sentences make me want to stop reading. In the second paragraph, words like "contemplating" make you sound not serious, and "interested in insights" again, sounds weak. The third paragraph has a lot of "I" statements. Did I miss it, or did you say anywhere in the pitch how you add value for the other person? Sorry for the tear-down, but I just felt compelled because I'm networking from Asia too.

  • Michael Enquist

    Don't forget to read "Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty," by Harvey Mackay, one of the best networking texts ever written. Oh, Hi Ramit! Fancy meeting you here.

  • Michael Enquist

    To all the other fans of Ramit's work: I live near Seattle. I've worked in the biotech industry, financial services and biomedical equipment technology. My friends work in audio engineering, marketing, HVAC, aerospace and other industries. I'm always happy to help job seekers, marketers and others who want to expand their networks. Send me an email at [my first name].[my last name]@gmail.com Respect and honesty earn respect and honesty in return. Thanks and looking forward to meeting you! Michael (Oh, Hi Ramit! Is this your blog? Cool!)

  • Michael Enquist

    Sorry. We're snowed in. I have lots of free time. Ramit can ban me or delete my excessive posts if he wants. Aline, I know you are being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but Ramit points out that these are open, honest, ethical techniques that his contacts already know he uses. You'll notice above that he reminds us to tell the folks how we found their contact information. I think that is especially true when you got there via referrals, because now your ultimate contact has a new list of people who may be good for him or her to meet. Are you with me? (Thanks, Jesse, I'm going to use that and variations on it from now on. Another good one is, "Please, tell me what you think about what we've been talking about/doing so far.")

  • Alex Drysdale

    Hi Mr. P, I was speaking with your friend 'Jane' at the gym yesterday and we found ourselves on the topic of our careers. After I had told her about my situation of looking to open my own 'ACME Co.' she had mentioned that you have owned a 'A-ACME Co.' for several years now and how much you loved it. I was very excited to hear that she knew someone first hand that was doing that same type of worked and was really enjoying it. I couldn't resist asking her if I could grab your email address if she didn't think you would mind me contacting you, as I would love to buy you a quick coffee or lunch and pick your brain for a few minutes regarding the do's and don'ts of your work. I look forward to hearing back from you Thanks Alex Drysdale 555-555-5555

  • Aline

    great, now he has to talk to you as he need to show his technique works. :)

  • Elaine

    I love this script because I don't even need to have BEEN ACCEPTED to a school to contact recent alumni or current students. But this only works for the next six weeks or so until I get accepted or rejected.... Obviously I tailor this based on their Linkedin profile. "[THEIR NAME], Hello, I am a current [SCHOOL NAME] MBA 2014 applicant, and I'm contacting you because you are a former teacher, just like me. [CONNECTION] I have already applied for next fall, but I am considering what things I can do to best position myself for internships and job offers. [SHOWS THOUGHTFULNESS] Would you have a 20 minutes for a phone call to talk about your experience transitioning from teaching to management consulting? [OBVIOUS FROM LINKEDIN PROFILE] Please let me know what time works best for you. Sometime in the morning CST would be great, since I am currently working in Japan. [SOUNDS IMPRESSIVE/EXOTIC] But if you are able to talk on weekends, anytime is fine. [PROBABLY UNNECESSARY TO SAY] Thank you, " By the way, I found her just based on the published internship reports that almost every business school puts out.

    • Elaine

      Shit, just saw a typo. And I've used this pitch successfully several times. Thank goodness busy people skim... haha

  • Cathy

    Good Afternoon, Ms. Smith: My name is Joe Blow. Jane Jones, the marketing director at Grabblegrousers Inc. suggested that I speak with you as I am currently looking for some information about the dooglefobber industry. My questions are regarding short-term and long-term trends dooglefobber production. I understand that your company, Dooglefobbers Inc., has had more growth and development in the last 5 years than most other dooglefobber manufacturers and that you personally have won 2 industry awards for excellence. This is an impressive achievement. Though I have conducted research about this industry, I KNOW THAT I WOULD GAIN A GREATER UNDERSTANDING IF I COULD JUST SPEAK BRIEFLY WITH SOMEONE ON THE INSIDE; SOMEONE WHO REALLY UNDERSTANDS WHERE THIS INDUSTRY HAS BEEN AND WHERE IT IS GOING. I was wondering - would you be willing to meet with me for just 10-15 minutes sometime this week just to answer a few of my questions? Just a few moments of your time is all I would need and it would be much appreciated. Thank you. (Not perfect, but we don't have to be perfect - we just have to be authentic. Capitalization for emphasis only, not to be used in a real script.) The thing is, most people, when asked, are willing to help us if we have a real purpose for contacting them and present ourselves as credible in our tone, manner, and appearance. I once read a book where I guy told his readers how to hitchhike successfully. If you are grubby or insecure, you look like a risk. If you are clean and look like you know where you are going, even a mother with three kids in the car might pick you up. (Note: DON'T HITCHHIKE!) I think the same thing is true for networking. If your question is specific, if you are to the point, if you look the part, and if what you are asking will not take up too much time, people will usually meet with you, even if it is just so that they can get you out of their reception area faster. Hey, it could be the start of a beautiful relationship. BTW - Fantastic resume teardown on Monday night. I weep for those that missed it.

  • Ilana

    "How'd you get to where you are?" Similar to Matt Ks "What's your secret?" This has worked really well for me in informational interviews. I've gotten jobs from it, but more importantly I've gotten great mentors from it. Because great mentors have fantastic life changing answers.

  • Cathy

    I once asked an employer (AKA: My Boss) what she hated about people who try to network with her. One guy called her unsolicited and said, "Hey, I gotta eat sometime and you gotta eat sometime so how 'bout I take you out for a quick bite next Thursday? My treat." What in heaven's name makes a person think that a complete stranger will go for lunch with them? And don't they think that the employer can afford their own food? How is that in any way attractive? When somebody approaches us with arrogance and over-confidence, we want them to fail. We want them to fail bad.

  • David

    My pitch, which worked on 2 of 2 occasions so far "I would love to grab drinks (on me) and hear about where you've come from and how you've gotten to where you are now. No catch: I'm just a recent grad looking to have an informative conversation with an experienced professional in my field of interest. I know you're a busy guy but I look forward to hearing back from you; we can set up details from there."

  • Nora Tursso

    Ramit, I have been listening to you for acouple months, and you are so great. Thank you

  • Brian

    "I would love to hear your story and ask a few questions about your successful career path. I think it would be particularly insightful for me given my goals."

  • Alan D

    Email Scripts So, I've decided to start emailing you (and everyone else who gives good advice) on a weekly basis. We'll call these emails "Idol Chatter." I think this is a great way for us to maintain good, open communication, and continue to build our relationship. You'll be receiving an email once a week, at a pre-scheduled (and usually unchanged) time. It will be a private conversation - just you and I. If you have concerns about privacy, we'll talk about those once we get going. The format will always be the same. The primary focus is going to be YOU anything you want to tell me, about anything. Your work, your family, your pets, your hobby, your challenges, your career, our working together. We'll probably talk about projects you and I are working on, stuff I need from you, and things I've heard. I'm not just going to give you a ton of stuff to take notes on. Let's talk about the future - your career, training, development, opportunities, etc. In my experience we probably won't cover everything but that's okay, if we've covered what YOU want to cover, and I get a word or two in. You may be thinking, "can I trust him?" Well, I hope so. I can tell you, if you want to complain, I'm willing to listen. If I'm messing up, I'm ready to hear it. I expect you to deliver it fairly and professionally, and I'll be willing to have a dialog with you. This will also give me a chance to share feedback and coaching with you on things you're trying to improve on. I encourage you to be as open as you can be, and over time I bet we both will get more comfortable. I suspect we will find plenty to talk about. This is not a one time deal. We're not going to do this for a while and then stop. I'm not trying to do this with everyone. This is my way of getting to know you better, because the better we know each other, the better work we will do together. This is my one on one email address. I'm just starting so I'm sure I'll get to it. I admit though that if Tim Ferriss emails me, I'll get to yours after. Except in cases of extreme duress and/or imminent success, I WILL GET BACK TO YOU. PERIOD. Maybe in the first few weeks, we will fuss a bit and figure out what works best for us both. I've not done this before, so we'll mess up a little. I believe it will ABSOLUTELY be worth it. I look forward to your reply. Regards, ALAN

    • Alan D

      I bet I know what you're thinking, "Wow, first date and already asking to spend the night." I bet you feel a little scandalized. Its okay, that's what you should be feeling. You're welcome. That was a slightly modified script I got. One grammar mistake got through. Damn. Can anyone spot it? I like it b/c it flips the script, and I hope sets you up as an equal. Its a Bit long though.

  • Lori

    I don't have a standard pitch. Instead, I tailor my request exactly to the person and the information I want. For example, "I recently moved to [town] and am considering re-entering the legal profession. I am trying to learn the details of how practicing estate planning in the suburbs differs from a downtown practice. I would appreciate meeting with you for 20-30 minutes to learn from your experience and insights." Please consider this my entry for the 30 minute consult. Thank you.

  • Jeremy Cornwell

    I'd go with something like: Will you share your insight?

  • An

    Dear Jane Doe, I'm a writer [of X type of fiction/working for Y magazine], and I'm researching the work and careers of people in [your field]. Your name came to my attention [through a mutual friend/from an article you wrote/from a website you were featured on], and I was wondering if I could have 20 minutes of your time to pick your brain about topics of [your area of interest]. I'd be grateful for any insight you can give. Thanks for your time, [Signature] = Obviously, only use this if you actually are a writer, but for those of us who are, it's great. 1) People always want to see writing, whether nonfiction or fiction, get their interests/subcultures/whatever *right*. 2) People love being a resource for something they can see produced, whether it's a movie or a book or an article. Being consulted as an expert is really attractive. 3) This gives you an excellent lead-in to ask questions like "What are your days like?" or even "What sort of lifestyle do you see most of your peers living?" 4) Often generates interest in *you*, as people want to know what you're working on, how their information will be used, and if they can see the final draft.

  • Bryan

    "pick your brain" substitute: Learn from the master!

  • Sherri

    Can you elaborate more on closing the loop? You said the first step in networking was to conduct informational interviews, but never followed with a second or third step. You ended with some of your students talking about closing the loop. Obviously you have a specific method to this as well without the use of thank you letters. Is this still to come?

    • Anca

      Sherri, reading in between the lines, my guess is that content will be in the Dream Job course that Ramit will make available to buy after boot camp ends.

  • Mike

    Hey Ramit, I've learn about that phenomenon of yours from the AppSumo deal, and got hooked up right away. Now I'm reading all your posts begin-to-end, hating every one of them for its length ;) And I think I know what the next product should be in your suite, and I want to be part of it. When you have half-an-hour, I'd love to talk about it over a Drunken Duck at Jaiya. Just whistle. Cheers, Mike

  • Jamal Afridi

    Many thanks for this insightful post and all of the other useful knowledge you've given out (for free nonetheless!). Here's my pitch. [Contact's Name], My name is ______ and I am a recent graduate of the [school]'s master's program in [field of study]. During my time at [school], I was fortunate enough to take a class on [course] with [referrer] and kept in touch with him after graduating. We've met and spoken a few times on risk management issues and the prospect of work in the field and [referrer] suggested that I set up a meeting over coffee with you to learn more about your experiences, work opportunities in risk management, and general advice on how to approach the field from a [field of study] background. I believe [referrer] sent along my resume for your review, but I am attaching it in case it did not reach you. Are you available to meet any time next week, the week of January 2-8? If so, I have prepared a number of questions that should not take long to go through. Thank you in advance for your time. I look forward to speaking with you soon. Best, [Your Name] Good luck everybody.

  • Karen WR

    Hey Ramit, Here is a pitch I used to connect with an alum from my school. The results: she said she was happy to speak and said "am always excited to meet people who are so proactive. I would love to catch up with you and discuss [awesome international organization she works for]". Because of her flying out earlier, we were not able to meet in person, but we had an hour long phone conversation, in which she offered to help me get an internship at her organization. Here is my pitch: Title: Contact with a [university] alum Body: Dear [name], My name is [first name last name], I graduated from [university] this past May, and I found your contact information through the [university] Alumni Association in India. I recently moved to [city] to work for [company]. I read that you work for [top international organization] as a [job title], and found that incredibly interesting--in college and in high school I was very involved with Model UN, and often discussed topics pertaining to [top international organization she works for]. I will be traveling to [city where she lives] this weekend, starting on Friday. If you are willing and available, I would love to meet you and learn about your work with [top international organization]. Is there any chance we could meet for coffee or lunch? I would only take 30 minutes of your time. Please let me know! Best regards, Karen

  • Karen WR

    Hey Ramit (yes, again, since there's no limit to posts :) ), Here is a different pitch I used to ask a friend of mine who works at the UN if I could introduce her to another friend who is interested in development work--I firmly believe in connecting the people I know (or social arbitrage, as Keith Ferrazzi would call it). My friend's response: "Of course, please feel free to connect us!" Here's the email: Title: Introducing you to my friend? Body: Hi [friend]! A couple of things: First, [catch up on the last item we have been discussing, in this case a report we are both working on]. Second, this time I want to ask you if you'd be willing to/have time to virtually meet a friend of mine. Basically, she works with me in [country] for [company] and is is very interested in learning about development work abroad. So I immediately thought of you and told her your awesome life story so far [this is the actual pitch--what my friend wants out of the conversation], highlighting of course your time with [top international development organization]. Her response was "what a life!" :) haha Her name is [name], she is really cool, studied [development-related field] at [university] (and wants to take the world by storm). Would it be OK if I sent you both an email introducing you to each other, and you guys can take it from there? Let me know! Karen P.S. Happy 2012!

  • Karen WR

    Hey Ramit, Here is part of email (focusing on the pitch) I am planning on sending today to some of the people in Forbes' 30 under 30 list. "[introduce myself] I saw the article about you on the 30 under 30 list and as someone who just graduated and has been interested in social entrepreneurship in the past couple of years, I was really impressed and inspired by your work. I know that it's tough to make it in the start-up world, so I would love to learn your story. If you are free, I would like to take you out for coffee--it wouldn't be more than 20 minutes of your time. If you are free, I would really appreciate it. If not, that's cool too. Let me know and congratulations on the awesome work you do! Best regards, Karen" By the way, I send all of my emails, including the above 2 scripts I shared, from my university email ID, as a way to differentiate myself and appear more legitimate.

  • Ray

    Dear Mr Ramit Sethi As a recipient of your blogs, emails and free offers, I can honestly say I know more about you than you do about me. Since you are currently more successful than me, I was wondering if you could spare a few moments of your time to meet over a coffee and discuss some of your success strategies, one of which must be: 'How to deal with idiots who don't follow simple instructions.' I would also be interested in discussing how Dr Gregory House's philosophy (Everybody lies) relates to personal branding and marketing in general. I would be available to meet at your convenience, much like attending one of your popular live web appearances. If indeed possible, please email or call me at the contact information below. Thank you for your time and attention. Ray-.

  • mj

    Subject: You helped me get out of huge debt! Hi Ramit, I've been reading your blog for the 5 years now. Using your techniques I've paid off $20,000 of debt and this week I made my last payment! So thanks for all the work that you do. I've watched your automation video about 50 times the last year. I want to invest in some online courses. I'd love to get your input on which course you think is best. Can we chat for 15-20 minutes? I can meet in person or over skype. Let me know what works for you. Thanks

  • Kathryn C

    Great clip on ABC. Did you see that morgan stanley email flying around from the intern who emailed the CEO? Ugh. I ripped it apart on my blog. He should've seen your before sending his email, it would've helped him, A LOT

  • Ben B.

    Ramit- I met you at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver for a meetup in (May?) 2009 I was sitting across from you. I also called you randomly out of the blue sometime in 2010 asking about some random essay you had written in College that the link was broken to on one of your old websites, I found your number after about 10 minutes and called it thinking there was no way you have your active phone number lying around. You answered and I was pretty much dumbstruck and got off the phone as quickly as possible... (smooth right?) I'm in the Military so here is a potential script for someone who is in a very, very high position that would be good to do an informational interview with. "Dear (extremely prestegious military title), It has come to my attention that you currently the commanding officer of (base), and I understand that you have you were previously an enlisted service member (as opposed to a commissioned officer). Coming from the enlisted side like you, I also aspire to enter into a commissioned position, so you're story was of particular interest to me, especially your work in the (x campaign at x base). I would like to speak with you regarding the insights you have gathered over your long career, and garner some key points about how to navigate the challenges of the service. It would be an honor to speak with you Sir, I can meet with you at your convenience. With Respect, (extremely non-prestegious Military title)

  • Brian Sun

    Hey Ramit, I’m one of your readers who takes action (I’ve got three paying clients, earned $2500 on the side so far, automated my finances, etc.) We’re both Asian and can eat really spicy food. But my eyebrows aren’t as thick as yours. I’d love to get your life and career advice for 30 minutes because you are a badass. ABC News, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and tons of other news outlets told me that if I want to take action and get my dream job – you’re the dude I need to talk to. Do you think I could ask you very insightful questions for 90% of the time over the course of a 30-minute information interview over the phone? I’m especially curious about your favorite curry, if you were just as sarcastic before you were the new finance guru on the block, and how you freaking get 20,000+ data points to make your courses. If there’s time after my 27-minutes of asking questions and listening intently, we could talk about the specific dream jobs I listed after you helped a massive group of unwashed masses (and the small group of people who take action) define their dream job. I can call you any time day or night because you’re busy negotiating like an Indian. In other words, I can work around your busy ass schedule. Would it be possible for us to talk? --Brian PS: The other people who left pitches all drive Chevy Luminas.

    • Kakuei Araral

      Brian, this is the best pitch! I HAD to Google what a Chevy Lumina is (sorry, Asian living in Asia). Hope you get Ramit.

  • P. Hunter

    Here is a script I used to meet with a very busy ex-colleague of mine I haven't seen in 3 years: "I noticed that you stay hustling and are always achieving your goals regardless of the economic conditions. Since you are clearly a Top Performer at what you do, I wanted to know if I could invite you out to lunch in order to get some career advice. I promise I won't take more than one hour of your time (if that) and I will bring my resume and any other supporting documents you may require." Her reply: "I would love to grab lunch with you and talk about your career goals! I'm in (redacted) - let me know if you're able to meet me next week, either on Monday or Friday- I can meet after 12 pm. Resume is definitely cool and whatever else you want to bring that you have questions on or you think may help! :) " Verdict: It works. It works because no one else does it.

  • Will

    My pitch: "I know that you're a very busy person, but if you could spare 15 minutes, I would love to take you to coffee. I've done a lot of research on my own, and I would like to ask you a few questions in order to get a complete perspective." To anyone out there who is too nervous to try pitching someone like this, don't worry! I've had great success with these kinds of pitches before.

  • Dexter

    "I would love to chat with you to learn more about [insert what they're up to] and how you did [insert x]."

  • Jim Harbour

    This was a cold contact Information interview email I sent and it was successful. It reads really stuffy, though, and needs some editing for future testing! Ms. [Research Coordinator], May I have your help? Currently, [ABC Company] employs my services as a Product Develop Manager in Agriculture. However, I am assessing my current role. Please consider granting an Information Interview to share your knowledge and experiences about OCIA with me at your convenience. I estimate our time for this interview will take less than 1 hour. Your time is likely allocated to other projects, but if you have an open time-slot, I am available tomorrow from 9 am to 3 pm. If that is too soon, then perhaps we can meet next week (Dec 5-9) from 9 am to 3 pm. The location will be at your discretion. I read the report on "Biological Control Agent of Soybean Rust". I found it interesting the mycophilic fungus controlled ASR similar to synthetic fungicides. This will be important for Organic soybean growers. And conventional soybean growers as well. Thank you for considering an Interview to visit about OCIA. Regards, Jim

  • Edie

    Hello Mr/Ms XYZ, I was interested in finding out how you became such a successful documentary producer and director. It would be educational to me to find out how you were able to develop your first doc idea and find distribution. If you have time for a coffee break, a lunch or even a Skype session, I would love to ask you questions about the state of film today, how you are dealing with changes in distribution of films and where the future lies. It was work like yours that inspires me, and I would love to know more!

  • Cathy

    Pick your brain. Talk with someone on the inside. Hmm. What if we don't start the conversation by asking for a meeting right away? What if we start by asking our most specific question? Like, "As I am looking into this industry as a career option, do you feel it is absolutely essential to have an MBA in this position?" Or, "What would you say is the number one challenge facing your sales team in the coming year?" Or whatever. It is fairly easy for a person to answer one question. Very small time committment. If we start the conversation via emails (letting one good question lead to another), perhaps the person will be more willing to meet us face to face. They might not want to talk to us until we prove our questions to be worthy and our interest to be more than just self-serving. Still, I think the most important thing, regardless of the line, is to just get up the courage to ask for what you want. People who ask get information and leads.

    • Elaine

      After testing... Doing this with email got a great response the initial time, but when I tried to evolve this into an email-conversation... my emails were easily ignored. I was upset at first, but they're busy and I know I'm just not the highest priority. Spark the interest with an email, but step it up to a phone call fairly quickly. Then, when you have a phone-interview, don't go over your time on the call (I made this mistake too). If you have more to talk about, schedule another time or shoot out another email. Always respond with a follow-up and don't be discouraged if not every email is answered. It's also good to get more than one contact for them EMAIL and PHONE NUMBER and... (office phone, cell, secondary email.... whatever else is offered). A phone call has a warmth that email doesn't. Face-to-face even better. I think it's important to "level-up" your contact relationship quickly, because the slow evolution will lead to the contact becoming cold quickly. FYI, both of the questions you mention are definitely more deserving of a call or live conversation than an email. Those are both questions that might not be quick for the person to answer since they have so many different factors.

  • Cathy

    I also think it might be helpful to share a wee bit of our struggle in this email - we don't want to be desperate but we want to demonstrate that we have a real need of information. Again, we need our request for info to be legit. As with resumes, our email cannot convey all that is wonderful about us. We just need an email that will generate interest. Hmm. This will be somewhat different for every potential contact - it's tough to come up with one script. And yet, do we want an easy job search or an effective one? We gotta wrestle with these things.

  • Cathy

    One last thing. Promise. Arrgh. I like the emails where people write their script to Ramit. I appreciate the attempt to match the personality of the person they are sending their email to. Research will help us to understand our potential contacts and our content and tone should match who they are. But, this can totally back fire if you read that person wrong, though. And if you try to act as if you already have a connection to someone who is really a complete stranger, I think this is just creepy. I hate when telemarketers do this. ("Hey, Cathy, how are you doing this Thursday night? Did you have a great Christmas? Well that's just super. Now, Cathy, I know that home safety is very important to you, and I'd like to talk to you about some alarm packages..." Gag.)

  • Cathy

    I lied. My vote is for CG. I like "critical feedback".

  • Bryan

    Pitch: Hello (Someone), My name is Bryan Perez. I'm a recent graduate and very interested in the e-business field. I stumbled upon your name doing some background research for (Some Company), whom I am interested in working with. I understand you work at (Some Other Company) doing (Something). In fact, I've been following that industry and noticed your group's work on (Some Project). The way your group handled (Some Problem) especially impressed me. I've tried to discover the reasoning behind your unorthodox solution, but I don't think I've acquired that creativity yet. But I'm very eager to develop it. Do you have 5-10 minutes for a coffee break this week? I'd love to hear firsthand how you decided on that course of action. I understand it's a busy time of year for you, so we can make arrangements completely at your discretion. Would a quick meeting be possible? Thanks, -Bryan Thanks for the great material Ramit.

  • Kyle

    Great post Ramit! A tip I found useful (and has gotten me more responses) is to use a person's first name in the subject line. For example: "Ramit - A Quick Question from a Stanford Alum" People that I've met with in the past for informational interviews have said that it caught their attention in the sea of endless emails. It can run the risk of coming across as too informal, yet it's helped me in the past much more than it has hurt.

  • Megan

    Ramit-- I came to your site by way of a link sent out by the amazing Marie Forleo and am I glad I followed her advice! This is my first visit to your site and I am so impressed and inspired to take these actions and keep reading your work for more tips! I have used similar informational interviwing techiques in the past, however, as I set to finish PA school in 5 months, I want to ramp up my networking and contact base to land that dream job! I'm in medicine so here's a pitch that might be a little different from the ones above! Dr._____ Im hoping you remember me from my rotation on your service at _____hospital in November 2011. I enjoyed my time on the (hepatobiliary, GU, ICU etc) team and felt I learned a great deal about ____(renal transplant, critical care, etc) from your teaching. I am interested in hearing your perspective on the role of Physician Assistants in _______(renal transplant, critical care,etc as above). I am wondering if you would be willing to meet me for a cup of coffee after rounds one morning in the coming weeks. Your advice and insight would be invaluable as I prepare to graduate in the spring. Thank you for your time! Best Regards, NAME

  • Anna

    “pick your brain” substitute: I'm sure you have some insightful thoughts from your experiences in the X industry that I can learn from. Does your schedule allow us to meet up for coffee to discuss your job at XYZ?

  • Jessica

    Along with the importance of creating your network, I would also suggest network maintenance (which I'm sure Ramit also covers in his couse). Almost everyone I've ever worked with, when they leave the company, will send out an email on their last day with their personal email address and sometimes even phone number along with what company they are going to. I absolutely add everyone to my address book no matter what. Usually after a month or so I will send them a short little email asking them how their new job is going, etc and fill them in on any of the recent workplace going's on at the company I'm at. This opens up the lines of communication. I then maintain that open line by periodically sending along all the juicy industry gossip I hear about (job openings, company layoff rumors, etc) and almost all of them reciprocate. People WANT to feel like they're in the know and to be the one that is telling everyone else first about what's going on in their industry. This makes them very open to receiving AND dishing out regular industry inside information. I can't tell you how many times I've had one of my friends (read: contacts) email me out of the blue saying their company is looking for someone that does exactly what I do and try to persuade me to come to their company... or how many times I've done the exact same thing to several of my contacts. I have $1000 in finder's fees coming my way in the next month from doing just that.

  • Sherri

    Pitch: I'd really value your input and professional advice.

  • Mian

    Good Article Rami. I know the famous marketer Ryan Lee has written extensively on how he hates it when people ask to 'pick his brain'. I don't think that would be a good script to run on more famous type of people. Thanks for a good action read.

  • Heather Craik

    I gave you one pitch in this post: “Can I pick your brain?” I cover more in the Dream Job course. But today I want to challenge you to come up with great pitches yourself. Leave a comment with your best one below. How to get my personal answers to your toughest career questions. To the person who submits my favorite, I’m giving 30 minutes of one-on-one career coaching. I normally charge $3,000/hour for consulting so this is something I don’t do very often. No limit to the number of submissions, but make them good or I will mock you. Good luck. I've been really looking forward to seeing these; usually a little awkward with first contact so it's nice to have a leg up! Anyway, you asked us to come up with a pitch that we could use that would work really well for us personally. As a vfx artist to be, there's a lot of information you just can't find online or in 'normal' career advice sites (heart bleeds for that one). Because of that, a lot of people ask 'How do I take my first steps into the industry' so it's become really boring. If I was one of the experts I'm contacting I'd want whoever it was to have done at least preliminary research, have an idea of what I'd done (as you pointed out), and sound reasonably intelligent and interesting. Working through it, my pitch idea is; I've been researching what an effects artists responsibilities are and I think I've got a good handle on the most sought-after skills; I'd love to hear which you've found most useful from day to day.

    • Heather

      Oops, forgot to un-copy your paragraphs too. I normally add them as a focus while I'm writing. Ignore that first bit. ;)

  • Matt

    Concerning "How to get my personal answers to your toughest career questions." I am wondering how to reach people for an informational interview for the purpose of developing future clients versus future employment opportunities. This seems like a great way to meet the people who might benefit the most from my help. Am I off here or is this something that could be accomplished using natural networking? Thanks, Matt

  • Liz DiMascio

    Thanks Ramit, as always. Your flying car line is a gem. Info Interview Pitch: "... I'd really love the opportunity to talk to someone who can offer personal insight on [this position, this company]. Would it be possible for me to sit down with you to discover why you decided to take your career in this direction and what steps you've taken to reach this level of success? As a [insert connection i.e. "Brown University grad" or "friend of ___"], I'd really value your advice. ..."

  • Kevin McLoughlin

    Hey Ramit, I’ve been following your Dream Job Boot Camp series, and attended Monday’s Resume-Teardown webinar – I’ve already used what I learned 48 hours ago to improve my resume, and a friend’s. Here is the copied text of an email pitch I sent to F.W. de Klerk – Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa – in 2010. Having been a national leader during the Cold War, and the man to release Nelson Mandela from prison, he’s a pretty interesting guy. I hope you’ll enjoy the response I received from him. As a side note, this message was one of my early attempts at getting in contact with ‘un-contactable’ people, and as you’ll notice, I didn’t have much of an aim in mind other than to get his thoughts on a couple issues. That said, of all the emails I’ve improved upon using your material, this one is my favourite. I’ve copied the email’s text below, and scanned & uploaded both the email I sent, and the one I received in response, to Flickr. You can find the link to them in my username prefacing this comment. – Dear Mr. De Klerk, I’m a student who attended a speech you made at DePauw University in May, and was inspired by one of your comments to contact you. In the few months before hearing you speak, I’d heard many speakers list the world’s challenges (terrorism, famine, climate change); but, when you made your point about “diversity as the main challenge” facing society today, I felt as though you’d identified the deeper cause that linked together all of the superficial challenges listed by the other speakers (Steven Levitt, Karl Rove, Howard Dean). For the past few months, there have been two questions on my mind that I’ve desperately wanted to ask you. First, was there a specific book, person, conversation – life experience – that led you to this conclusion? Was there an epiphany? Second, if you could insert one experience into the education of every American student, in the hopes of leading them to the same conclusion as your own, what would it be? I’d be delighted to hear from you. Sincerely, - Kevin McLoughlin – Kevin McLoughlin (416) 425-7006 kevin(at)climb-foracure(dot)com

    • Kevin McLoughlin

      Holy shit. Since I put up the link to the actual copy of this email, it's been viewed 66 times. That's pretty cool. Gotta love this blog. p.s. Anyone think I should split-test different intros to the above comment? p.p.s. The p.s. is a geek joke (just clarification to avoid the wackos).

  • Kyle

    Hey Ramit, loving this Dream Job stuff. How would you apply for a job in a new industry (your experience is still relevant) which is out of state and your experience is just slightly less than what they want? And how would you overcome these obstacles and get this job? In this hypothetical situation, let's say you're a recent college grad with very limited funds

    • Natalie

      Come on now, Kyle. Did you read the whole article? You know that Ramit's not going to answer that question ... See ... Ask worthless questions (“Dear Ramit, what should I do with my money?” Uh….read the last 8 years of my site?) ... above.

  • Kate

    I'm doing this right now, and I've gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better at writing emails, staying in touch, and getting more responses, since reading some of Ramit's earlier posts on this subject. FWIW, I work closely with a number of high-profile people, and I've seen how they respond to scripts like Ramit's, vs. the "you're so awesome! I would love to meet you sometime and ask your advice on my career" -- there's no question which one works, and which one makes them back away slowly. Here's a couple pitches that have worked really well for me -- note that I adjust the formality and length depending on how well the person knows me already and/or how busy I know they are: 1. To someone I know is too busy to meet with me in person, but might answer an email: "I feel pretty comfortable with corporate clients, but now that I've branched out into the public sector, I'm finding these clients have their own unique needs. I know you've worked in this area for the last couple years, so if you have any advice, I am all ears. For example, I've put together [some kind of proactive solution], but my gut says I should probably hold off on [some really insanely proactive solution.] Does that make sense, or would you do it differently?" 2. To someone who gave me an informational interview recently: "Thanks again for taking the time to meet with me last month. I took your advice and reached out to some folks at [respected boutique company], and to my delight, I'm going in to interview for a associate marketing manager position next week. As you know, my experience thus far has been mainly on the personal grooming side, so I'd love to meet someone with some home products experience, to get a sense of the challenges in that area. Can you suggest someone I could talk to?" 3. Someone I don't know at all, but whose email was passed along by a mutual friend: "I'm currently an associate marketing manager at Blah-Blah Corps, but recently I had the opportunity to work with some of the folks in our branding department, and discovered that I really enjoyed the challenge, so I'm researching some possible next steps. [Mutual friend] mentioned that you made a similar transition a few years ago. I'd love to get your thoughts on how to make the shift -- is there anything you know now you wish you'd known then?" 4. To a former colleague/casual acquaintance who is swamped with work: "Quick question -- I had a great conversation with the [fancy-schamancy] brand manager last fall at the [boring convention], so I don't think we're complete strangers, but I don't have his email address. Apparently [fancy-schamancy] is hiring an associate brand manager, and given that I know and like their work in the green products division, I'd love to be considered. If you feel weird about it, no worries, but I'd love to drop him a note." P.S. I don't really work in marketing or branding, but if I use the actual language from my emails, maybe 100 people in the whole world would know what I was talking about, so don't get on my case about the fact that no real marketing person would ask these kinds of questions.

  • Robert D Orozco

    "What you’re seeing is the difference between what’s IMPORTANT and what’s URGENT." Sounds familiar to what I've been reading in 7 Habits. Speaking of which, is that a book you recommend?

  • Rob

    Hello Ramit, My name is Robert Rigdon and I am in the very first few steps of my film career. I found your website through my daily arbitrary search of relative information but after reading only a few of your articles, I am hooked and determined to learn everything I can. Destiny could not have brought me here with better timing. I am about to launch a production photography website while continuing my full-time position at a broadcast studio. Production stills are already a niche profession but I cannot find evidence of a focused intent in my area. I am excited to begin but I have been culminating fears about my ability to network and drive my talent in to the limelight. I greatly value your written material and believe it holds all the knowledge I need. However, if you are available for a brief time, I would like to buy you coffee and hear about your personal experience more in depth on becoming the innovating / transparent leader you are today. I am more than willing to work around your schedule or meet on a minutes notice. Please contact me whenever is convenient. Thank you for your time, Rob

    • Natalie

      I've seen a few commenters use words such as "arbitrary" and "random" when describing the web search they did to find their contact. Is this really a good idea? If someone contacted me saying that I was a part of their "random" search efforts, it comes across as spammy. Why not say that they were found as "#7 on an internet search for candy cane suppliers"? That's useful information. Being a part of a random search? Not useful.

    • Kevin McLoughlin

      "As a recruiter looking through hundreds of resumes, I began looking for reasons to disqualify applicants, rather than qualify them by digging through the rest of their resume." - Ramit, during Monday's Webinar The opener of a pitch email, which I feel that Ramit would agree includes the subject line, should be full of indicators that establish a connection with your target, and allow them to qualify you in their own mind. With that thought still sailing through the air, I've gotta say that I'm on exactly the same page as Natalie when it comes to words and phrases like "random", "arbitrary", "web search", "I found your site via a link", "I've never posted before" etc. This type of phrase is probably responsible for more disqualifications inside the first 5 seconds than any other. Why? Preparation. Yea, that little element that Ramit keeps bringing up to differentiate the top performers from the denizens of his "unwashed masses" (which is a fucking awesome line). Scores of well-meaning, interested, and enthusiastic readers will stumble across a helpful or engaging article, and INSTEAD of actually doing what the author's suggesting, and testing to see if it works (i.e. wait for it, PREPARING for a future pitch communication), they'll slap together a comment or email starting with: "Hey [author], I randomly came across your [content] today via [previously unknown source]. You're so right about [important point]. I'm going to put this into practice right away [paradoxically, they're actually the least likely to do so]. By the way, I've got a few questions regarding [stuff they should've tried first], is there a time when it'd be convenient for you to talk? Times [X Y Z] work for me [since I won't be busy trying out your advice], would any of those work for you? All the best, - [Reader]

  • Allen Youdim

    Before I read this post, I manage two get two informational interviews with people whom work at top consulting firms. Leaving a message on an answering machine are pretty effective. Ramit thanks for helping me create an obsession with testing and challenging my approaches to jobs and women. Hello Associate X: I am curious to know if you have time to sit down for coffee some time in the following weeks. I would like to ask you some industry related questions, as I am applying for internships in the consulting field. Please let me know if you have availability. best, Allen Youdim

  • Carmen

    I actually used a version of this a few weeks ago with the Marketing Director of my department: Dear Bob, As you may already know, I am currently a Financial Analyst in the finance group and am exploring opportunities in marketing. Over the last few months I've reviewed the online coursework that your department's intranet site recommends for newly hired marketing personnel and have taken the following courses: [Course A - Negotiation] [Course B - Customer Service] [Course C - Product Knowledge Parts 1-3/9] After taking these courses, I believe that marketing would be a great career for me to pursue. I would really appreciate your insight - can I please have 15 minutes of your time so that I may know more about the specific roles of your department? Please let me know and I will be happy to send you an Outlook meeting invite at your convenience. Sincerely, Carmen

  • Natalie

    Yes! Would love that 30 minutes of one-on-one coaching. Pitch below. I got an "Absolutely" to this request after 47 minutes. - Natalie *** BACKGROUND *** A job was just posted a few days ago for a small non-profit that I've volunteered with in the past. Figuring out how to actually WORK for them was one of the ideas I came up with during Ramit's brainstorming session a few weeks back. It was #4 on the list of ideas I was looking into (have been looking into #2 for the past few weeks after almost immediately crossing off #1 with 6 hours of pretty basic internet research - love that I'm not wasting more time on idea #1!). Mind, the advertised position is not my "Dream Job." However, there is some serious promotion and/or Create-Your-Own-Position potential. I already know the basics about the company, and have even met with the President/CEO and Executive Director last year, when, out of the blue, they asked to meet with the Board of Directors of a local theatre group ... and I happen to volunteer with that same theatre board as their Marketing Director. See, volunteering for something you're passionate about isn't always a waste of time! I've spent the past 2 days really researching the company, their projects, future plans, their directors. And discovered that I have *** THREE ADDITIONAL CONTACTS *** with ties to a Board Chairman, an Executive Committee member & the President/CEO! *** PITCH *** To a mentor who just so happens to have been a major collaborator on the Foundation's museum project: " ... Would you accept being at the top of my list of referral contacts when I turn in a resume to the ...? They are looking for ... , and I'm so excited at the thought that I could assist in the Foundation's next major project, the new culinary school & cultural arts center ... "

  • Galen

    Hi, Your recent work on "specific subject" was very inspiring, and I'm quite passionate about your particular (part of the industry/work on the subject). Would it be all right to ask for 20 minutes of your time over coffee or lunch to share some of your insights on this matter? I understand you are very busy, and would appreciate even a quick response to be pointed in the right direction should your schedule be inconvenient. Thank you for considering this request. Sincerely, Galen Let me know what y'all think of certain particulars in this request. Please excuse my quotation marks, I use them a lot. I think it's important to name a specific work the person has done because it makes it more personal and meaningful. I once wrote a similar sentence thanking a reporter for his article titled, "An Open Letter To VFX Artists And The Entertainment Industry At Large - Visual Effects Society: 2.0" . It doesn't have to be an article, though, it could be anything. Second, the word "share" is a lot softer and nicer than "give" or something similar. It implies already that what is shared is... something that deserves to be shared. It sets the person up to be more in a mentor or peer position than a boss or someone else. You get the idea :P Small nuances, adding the word schedule gives the impression of being "worked in." It adds more than just "being busy," like being busy with important things that demand being scheduled. Also, I'm asking permission to ask, which is super soft and non-pushy. Anything to take away natural resistance of solicitation. Last, the "point in the right direction" part is to give the person a way out while also receiving a concession. The person refuses, for whatever reason, your request to meet, but because you offered a concession immediately afterwards, s/he is more likey to respond with one. And always a cordial thank you!

  • John Anyasor

    My pitch (this one's for you, Ramit): Hey Ramit, I'm currently a fourth-year at the University of Chicago and for the past couple of weeks I’ve been checking out your Dream Job Course. Really great stuff that reaffirms much of what I’ve already been doing (in terms of networking) these past few years. I would love to get your career advice for 20-30 minutes. I’m graduating soon and many of my friends actually are going into consulting. Even the professor of my Marketing Strategy course at the Chicago Booth School of Business spent an entire class giving tips to students wishing to go into consulting. I’m really interested in business and marketing, and I’m wondering if going into consulting would be the right path for me. I would love to learn how you made your career choices after you graduated from Stanford. I know you’re a busy man, so I’m definitely willing to work around your schedule. Would you like to talk over Skype? Thanks, John P.S. I think my roommate’s aunt knows you! Does Lady Mohini Noon (wife of Lord Gulam Noon) ring a bell?

  • HeidiW

    Instead of "Can I pick your brain?": "I'd love to get your insights as a leader in our industry, and hear the story behind (some great accomplishment by this person)."

  • Kyle H.

    Pitch: "If you could go back and talk to your 26 (or 22 or 30) year old self, what would you tell him to do differently?" After they say something jokey like...."Invest in Apple!" or "Don't get married!" etc. etc., you're in! Simply because people want to talk about themselves, and this question gives them an opportunity to share out loud what they think in secret constantly, "What would I have done differently if I had the chance?". They will begin to share with you their absolute best career advice, because the question is what would they do for THEMSELVES, the person they care about the most. It is an instant insight into their hopes and dreams, and how they think they could have more effectively reached them. Boom city. Ramit, I am not sure you will choose this comment as the best, but I challenge you to disagree with anything I just wrote because I could have sworn I just channeled you for a second.

  • Vinayak Maheswaran

    This is what I needed the most and would like to really learn more about!!

  • Rasha Hisham

    I really admire the way you (became VP in 3 years, started you own company or anything in particular that made me facinated enough to want to meet this person). I would like the opportunity to meet with you for a chat and hear more about your experiences.

  • Divya

    "Do you have 10 minutes to talk to a young person?" This works.

  • Diana Preussler-Gordon

    "I would love to have your guidance on a few questions" first establishing personal connection. --Greetings, --my name is Diana. We went to the same college/worked at the same company --and find something that only students/workers of the school/company know --probably ate the same blueberry bagels day in and day out. --Now after my graduation I continue to study [fill in your topic] at my own --terms to reach next level. When I look at your work/career journey I am --inspired and I see --that you asked the right questions along the way. --I would love to have your guidance on a few questions for about 15 --minutes over coffee. --I truly appreciate your time Diana

  • Rebecca

    The alternative pitch to "pick your brain" that I'd use-- with the rest of the approach dependent on how I knew (or didn't know) the contact would be: "Would you be willing to give me 15-20 minutes of your time to talk with me about the three most valuable things you wish you'd known to do when you were starting out on this [job/career path/specialty/etc]? I'm learning how to focus on the highest-value actions I can take, and I'd be grateful for your perspective." Asking for three things would be my way of showing that I'm serious about staying within the time I'm asking for.

  • Amos

    With someone in a more technical field I also like the phrase "I'm always looking for good people to geek out with"

  • Meagan

    I'm also a little iffy about the closing of "could I pick your brain." I prefer: Any advice or insights you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Is it possible for us to meet up so I can take in some of your knowledge?

  • Emily

    Hello, These are very useful templates. However, I just moved out-of-country, and I do not have 1 contact here, let alone 10 interesting ones. How can I finagle an informational interview with someone I do not have any direct similarities with? - I would find it hard to believe that anyone here in Vancouver graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas and has my dream job. Best, Emily

    • Vivek

      Hi Emily, I also graduated from UTD. I have folks in Canada. Please let me know which domain you are interested in. I might be able to connect. Regards Vivek

  • Sarah

    Also, it's really important to follow up. A thank you should be standard, but also if the meeting of informational interview was helpful in the long run, to report back. I did an informational interview about a year ago with an undergrad who contacted me from my alumni network, and after a while it became clear that my company wasn't quite what he was looking for, but it was still a pleasant conversation. And I never heard anything after that. If he came back tomorrow and wanted more "brain picking", I'd be less inclined to give my time again.

  • Steve

    The informational interview works! 5 years ago I called my now current supervisor and started asking him questions about the company, the department I am now in, its roles, responsibilities, challenges, and other pertinent information. We talked for at least an hour. We exchanged contact information, and I spoke with him one other time afterwards when I inquired about specific software that is used. 5 months later I received a call inviting me to apply and interview for the job. I was hired in 2007.

    • Steve

      To follow up, about an hour after reading another article titled "What the Pros Know About Networking and You Don't", I sent out an email requesting an informational interview via the phone to a former online instructor and expert in the field I am in. I also attached a list of questions and discussions that can be responded via email if that would work easier. This may or may not lead me anywhere specific, but it will open the channels for future communication.

  • Sima

    For all those who think networking is sleazy, I don't know where I'd be without networking! I belong to a club called the Alberta Speleological Society. I managed to land a part time job, because I showed up at a club member's jam session which happened to be at a bar close to my house. My last two room mates are also from A.S.S and the man who's is helping me film my videos for DIY lotions and potions I met at our AGM. I don't have much luck at networking events, but through places such as meetup.com you can connect with people who have similar interests. By being polite and interesting (as well as interested in what people do outside the club) doors automatically open. For my videos I wanted to sell aprons like the one I wear when I give workshops, but the price was pretty high for a small run. My room mate invited me an "art night" where I met up with a guy who owns a t-shirt press and another who happens to know someone who supplies aprons. Ramit's advice that has made biggest difference for me is BE CLEAR! Know what you want and have an idea as to how people can help you. Be courteous, if someone isn't a good fit for you let him know. On the flip side build your own network so you can help by recommending people. If anyone needs t-shirts made I now know where to send him. Leave a good impression and take care of people, because one day you may need their help. ~S

  • Cristina

    Hi Jamie, My name is Cristina. I’m a fellow blogger and active on bodybuilding.com. I'm currently participating in the 2012 Transformation Challenge and have chosen you as an inspirational member that I look up to on the site. We are the same height so it's nice to know the approximate inches and weight that I could attain. I’d love to get your career advice on how you developed and are maintaining your image. Bodybuilding.com has you as the official female spokes-model and your live fit trainer is very informational to base my own workout routine off of, I also see the results of those on your Facebook page, and having any advice from you would be phenomenal. I'm am wanting to compete in Bikini Competitions and do future photo shoots with athletic wear/athlete inspired shoots. I have seen your impressive photo shoots and am amazed at how natural you look (and gorgeous!). I know from what you have said before, on Facebook, that branding is very important and I was wondering what has made the most impact for you. I'd especially love to know how you made the choices that brought you to this point or any insider knowledge that you wish you could have known. If you have the time, I could send a future email that you could answer at your leisure. Thank You, -Cristina

  • Lee T

    [Manufacturing engineering manager], Howdy! My name's Lee Thompson, and I'm a graduate of A&M's industrial engineering program, and until recently part of [Company]'s [Rotational Development] program. I'm trying to find out more about the challenges facing manufacturing engineering teams in today's business world, and I was wondering if you would be willing to sit down with me over coffee and let me ask you a few questions about your group. I'm free in the afternoon on both Monday and Tuesday, so please if one of those days would work for you. Thanks and Gig 'Em, Lee Thompson Clumsy, but it got me a 30-minute meeting where I got to ask all about his department's work (and he in turned asked a couple of questions regarding my suitability for an opening in said department).

  • Aaron

    Subject: Young web designer - would love to discuss your work on standing out Hi Ramit, I am a web designer and developer and have gained enormous value from your material, particularly the 80/20 job guide, which I recently utilized to help land a great entry-level position. Would you consider sharing a few minutes of your time via email, phone, or Skype, at your convenience, to discuss two specific questions I have on how to best approach my first 90 days on the job? As I begin my professional career, I would love to learn from someone who has had great success at achieving disproportionate results. I know you're busy, so if this won't work for you, no big deal! Thanks so much for the contributions you've made to my knowledge. Sincerely, Aaron

  • Alejandro Orellana

    Ramit your insights are greatly appreciated. Thank you for all the work you do! Here is my question: If you are in contact with someone who holds a higher rank than you, how can you bring value to the relationship, given the difference in rank? There must be a way to give back to them, as a way to return the favor for all the help(insights) they may provide. Thanks!

  • Dr Letitia Wright

    I think this is excellent and the scripts work. However, the let me pick your brain does not work when you are asking someone about how they built their business. I have seen this approach with people who want to create the same business I have and expect me to do a free consult and tell them all my trade secrets. Use this but keep it on the employment side. I don't mind doing consults about business but I am not going to tell anyone everything for free.

  • Albert

    "I'd love to talk about what inspires you." I think its short and to the point - when meeting someone I'd like to emulate, I want to discover their motivations and what drives the decisions they made.

  • Kristina Villarini

    Best pitch is that which combines the timeliness, self-importance, and expertise of the expert. Instead of saying "pick your brain", perhaps you do a bit more legwork (LinkedIN may be best) to discover how long they have worked at that dream job. One could then say "I get the sense that someone in your position has a strong knowledge of what it takes to be successful at XYZ Corp. Would you have time to share with me any skills you've developed outside of the office that you think have made you a stronger leader?" No one is going to say "NO" to talking more about themselves, and you have an opportunity to discover more about the person outside of their profession that you could use as an opportunity to develop a relationship. If the target says, "Well, I love to surf" you can talk about the sublet you rented in Venice Beach in April and how pained your abs were from trying to stand on the board. Good luck, everybody.

  • Erin

    I'm the Erin quoted in the post above--the regret about grad school in psychology. I'm very happy to report that this year I took major steps toward achieving many of my goals and even ended up applying to a graduate program. I'm waiting for my acceptance or rejection. No matter the outcome, 2011 was a big year for me in terms of facing my fears and taking action. Along with all the information I get from being a regular reader of Ramit's site, I also had a trusted adviser who kept pushing me to "talk to people"--daunting for a career changer trying to move into psych. I also don't like to "bother" people but there's a right and wrong way to do this. In fact, just from "talking" to someone at a university, and being persistent (yet polite and professional) in my follow-ups I got some very valuable advice about what classes to take as a non-matriculated student, and ultimately gained a very valuable recommendation from the professor of that class. The advice was actually unsolicited, and changed the course of my graduate school trajectory for the better. Most people want to help, if they can, and if you approach them the right way. I faced a lot of fears this year, and sometimes I was scared shitless, but I did it anyway. Just leaned right into the fear and got things done.

  • Anca

    I'm shocked how terrible some of the templates/pitches in the comments are. Your post aside, no one's ever taught us how not to sound like weirdos in emails. I modified your template and incorporated a few suggestions from the commenters. I got rid of "pick your brain" and replaced the time range with just 15 mins to keep it short and specific so they don't fear a runaway meandering conversation. I put in but then removed an explicit acknowledgement of them being "very busy" (based advice in the persuasion book on your reading list -- don't want them to decide they really are too busy to meet me); my words like "quick" and "few questions" show them I know their time is valuable. And most important -- I talked about myself as little as possible because they don't care yet! -------- Hi ______, My name is ______ and I’m a ’07 grad from University of ____. I came across your name on LinkedIn, where we have a connection in common (_______). I’d love to have a quick 15 minutes of your time, buy you coffee, and ask you a few questions about your career successes. I'd especially love to know how you made your choices after graduating from _____. I’m in the process of shifting my career focus from ______ to a niche of ______ and would value your advice. I can meet you for coffee or at your office…or wherever it’s convenient. Would it be possible for us to meet? Thanks,

  • karyna

    I sent this email six months ago, hoping that if I asked all my questions up front; she would not fin me creepy/time wasting. It worked very well! subject: followup from a [university name] student Hi Lisa, I caught your presentation for [company] yesterday afternoon, and wanted to pick your brains a bit, because as a [my background], I am very interested in (one day) becoming a [her position]. I am currently [my current position], and love being able to work so closely with [my team]. [I WANTED HER TO KNOW WHY I AM INTERESTED IN HER POSITION] I was wondering what exactly a typical day looks like for you? I understand that I need more experience, but how would you recommend I get it, outside of becoming a developer? How valuable would an MBA be - would it shorten my "path"? Assuming I were to come to [her company], would there be a field I ought to ask for, if [you position] is my long-term goal? Do you have any other advise for me? Thank you so much, [signature]

  • Kay

    Hi Ramit (Ruh-MEET) Since I probably don't represent your typical follower which are mostly educated young adults in their 20's and 30's with an average amount of intelligent thought. I think I'll post something that will be a reachable goal from the point of view of followers like me..the uneducated scary, huh group. Hi Melissa, It's Lisa Williams from the Billy Goat wine tasting. You and I have only met briefly a few times but I was doing some reflection earlier on people whom I've met this year that seem to have gained success in their life and I thought of you. It would be great if we can meet or talk about how your choices lead you to some success and goals in life. Of course I can work around your schedule if your open. Do you have time for a 15 minute chat? Kay

  • Matt

    I'm going to tell you about this guy named Ramit Listen up, it’s the best advice you'll ever get He went to Stanford and beat the MBAs He'll teach you to make millions without getting good grades All you whiners have dreams of becoming half this guy On vacation all he needs is access to wi-fi You must attend, because it wont be recorded Dont ever try to say that latte can’t be afforded He doesn’t need your professional proofreading support Girls walk away crying because their hair is too short When you make your money, dont make a scene give him what he wants, a prop on Halloween "I cant", "I'll try", "I really want to" They're words of a loser. Dont say its not true. Tell us you hate your job, we're not gonna tell suck-up to ramit (he likes taco bell) Don’t get mad when he seems so unimpressed when your business failed because you forgot to test "I cant afford your stuff, I want a guarantee" "dude, you're nothing but a whiner, 90 percent of its free" So when you've hit rock bottom, you need 5 bucks from mom Send a message to Ramit @iwillteachyoutoberich.com This took me 5 minutes and its better than all these comments.

  • Vivek Chauhan

    Ramit!!!! This is so awesome. I used your script to connect with the Alumni of my school. I sent 7 requests, got reply to 2, rest awaiting. One of the person is a CTO and has given me an appointment to speak with him :). Other Alumni would connect me to his Director!!! I still have to test it with people who do not have any connection with my school or my friends.Any pointers to that will be very appreciated. At least now that I have some thumbs up, I am motivated to contact more people. Thank You Vivek

  • steve ward

    you know ramit this is the same thing in the dating area and you get the same reacted of that is something only people who want to do bad things to women would do. Learning to be a better lover is bad? HUH? lol

  • Alexander

    Ramit, a question for you. I've been to a few networking events recently and have tried to use some of your tactics. I work in sales for a newspaper and when I meet people I've asked them to email me their info so that I can forward it to our editors in hopes that we'll interview them or feature them in an article but they never email me. Can you give me recommendations on how to connect with these people? As you said I'm trying to help them and be there for them but they don't want my help apparently. Alex

    • brian f

      I think instead of asking them to do something (email you), you should offer to contact them. As them for their email address and then send them a short note a few days later to follow up & reinforce the connection.

  • Wayne

    Here's my question: What is the best script you've found to get "important people" to help move you up their networking ladder? Specifically, what one or two psychological triggers are most likely to incite an important person to want to introduce you to his or her own network and keep the ball of contacts rolling?

    • Wayne

      By the way, Ramit . . . I read this article and posted these two comments from a private jet at an altitude of 43,000 feet, while on a transcontinental ride that I was able to negotiate for myself FOR FREE using some of your tactics! About a $30,000 trip if bought retail. Here's a picture of me in the cockpit at cruising altitude: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/CZlEs4j67hLlh1ttwJ52vySK-S33t7ULm7Kbsuk3ii4?feat=directlink

  • Ruby Antebi

    I once wanted to take a course with National book Award winner Mark Doty at Rutgers University. Unfortunately, however, because there was such a high demand for this course, it closed just minutes after the registration period opened. I sent Doty and email saying that I'd love to "study under his wing." The next day he replied with a special permission number. On the first day of class I introduced myself. He opened his elbow out (in the shape of a wing) and said, "Get ready to study."

  • Shaquille

    Ramit, You are pushing me so far outside of my comfort zone. I love it! Thanks to you, I emailed a few people, and a few actually responded. To be honest, I am kinda scared that this is working. Anyway, wish me luck in these meetings :)

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  • Laurel

    I tried my hand: "Hello (person I want a informational interview with), I know of you through our college/Linkedin/Jennifer. I am hoping to convince you to have a quick meeting with me so I can ask you a few questions about your work because admire your success and reputation. I am transitioning to this field, so I would be very grateful to hear your advice and and insight. I know how busy you must be, but would you mind helping me out? I promise to keep it short and sweet, and make it super convenient for you. Cheers,"

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  • Jennifer

    Hi Ramit, I've just discovered your posts and find them to be refreshingly common sense and no nonsense! Thanks. As an American working at an international company in Korea, I found your anectode about the cousin helping a neighborhood woman with x-rays hilarious! We also have some Indians on our team :) It seems that most of your advice is geared towards a Western audience, though it's basically an accelerated, practical approach to the Chinese concept "Guanxi". https://hbr.org/2015/02/understanding-trust-in-china-and-the-west In a word (yes or no) do you feel like your techniques can be applied in Asia? Also if you're ever interested in broadening out to East Asia, let me know, I think I can connect you to a few localization specialists who'd be quite interested in your work! Thanks again! Looking forward to soaking it all up like a sponge, Jennifer

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  • m

    For starters, I'd remove the typo in the "hello John" letter above: " was browsing the the Acme Career site

  • Jason

    I will immediately seize your rss feed as I can't find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you've any? Kindly allow me understand so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

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    My pitch: Nothing moves without first being set into motion. For example my shoes are not going to put themselves on. A bullet from a gun is not going to fire itself. So when I ask you to get the ball rolling for my success. Are you going to pull the trigger?

  • Katie

    If your not sure how to talk to people, you should buy the book "How to Win Friends and Influence Others". I have talked to Top Bloggers with no problem. I actually have done what Ramit suggested before I ever read his blog. When I contacted others that I admired, it was short and sweet. And I offered something to them. For example: I wrote two short messages to two Top Bloggers I admired. I let them know I wrote an article and talked about them in it. Both of them went and left nice comments. It was such a nice memory and experience. Remember not all people that have more money than you are jerks. Some are actually really nice! Don't judge a book by its cover. Everyone is different.

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  • Amanda

    Thank you for the advice Ramit! I just used this technique on LinkedIn to connect with someone that works for a Brand within my industry that I would be interested in transitioning to in a few months. Although I am not sure it is a good match for me I sent my first email and I look forward to continue doing this for at least another 9 people this week as you recommended. You are tremendously helpful.

  • Ez

    Where is the questions to ask the people who we want to interview???

Comments are closed.