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2 Replies from 120 Contacts - Here's Why

Most of us have been there. We send hundreds of emails or messages in the hope of gaining an opening to a future opportunity, optimistic and full of belief that at least 1 out of the 100, will reply with some positive news.....

..... and then as days and weeks past, we get a couple of replies which aren't what we was looking for and then we start to make excuses (the denial stage), 'maybe they will contact me when they need someone', 'maybe they are busy', 'perhaps they liked my CV but it's just bad timing', 'maybe I'm over-qualified'.

Once we get past the denial stage, we start to realise that sending out over 100 messages was a waste of time, and if it didn't waste too much of your time... that's the problem!

It's natural to think that in situations where we only need one positive reply to set us on our glorious path, our main focus should be on quantity - the numbers game. 'Surely if we contact 100 people about a job, at least one person will respond with something positive'?

Maybe they will (depending on how you go about it), but most likely they won't.

Too many people are still lazy when going about their networking quest, of making meaningful connections and building relationships. They will; copy and paste generic messages, send a CV only without any explanation what it's for, fail to address the contact correctly and forget to mention anything specific to the person or their organisation altogether.

My past experiences in seeking employment and contacting people and organisations, taught me a valuable lesson in making meaningful connections

It's about the quality of the connection and not the quantity.

Even having a reasonable level of skill at CV writing and approaching people showing value and respect, I once spent (wasted) a lot of time contacting around 120 people from a country, seeking information about available roles in that country. I was feeling confident that the sheer quantity of my approaches would get me a few positive replies, at least. I sat back and waited.... and waited.....

I received two replies after another couple of weeks...

I waited some more, and that was it. Nothing else. The two replies wasn't what I was looking for, but at least they had actually replied with some feedback.

I was surprised at the low return of investment for my time but in all honesty, I shouldn't have been. I was missing a key ingredient to my approach.

When we are attempting to connect with someone whether it be via email or messages on social media platforms, the likelihood is that we don't know the person we are contacting and it's also likely, that we are asking for something from them. It's almost the same as them annoying cold-callers, who used to call every dinner time trying to sell you something over the phone.

Why would anyone want to buy something from a stranger over the phone? ............... Exactly!

Here's a clip from one of my Employment Workshops, which explains this a bit more clearer

Going back to the key ingredient I was missing. It was rapport. There are certainly a few others needed in this case, such as trust and giving before making requests, but the main thing that I had not accounted for was the fact that I was cold calling people without any prior rapport or trust being built.

Making real, valuable, strong and beneficial connections takes time just like building and developing any relationship. It takes time to build trust, to develop foundations of give and take, whilst also disarming the other person allowing them to feel comfortable that the relationship isn't going to be one-sided.

This is why, when it comes to networking in terms of attempting to open doors for new job opportunities, the quality of your approach will usually trump quantity and should ensure that you get a better return of investment for your time.


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