Every great business starts with an idea, and every new, growing business needs some help getting started. That’s why so many entrepreneurs seek out the advice of experts- people who have built successful businesses themselves. So, if your next step is to reach out to one of these experts for their help, you might be wondering how to approach them.
Many business owners are just like you- they’re trying to build their company, and the idea of reaching out to an expert can seem overwhelming, even scary. And since you don’t want to come off as ignorant or ungrateful for their advice, it’s important to know how best to present yourself. Here are a few tips to help you open your conversations with business experts in the best way possible:
Be Professional from The Start
The first way to make a good impression on experts willing to help you is simply by being professional. That means avoiding short, informal messages like text messages or private Facebook messages, where your words could be misunderstood or taken the wrong way. And if they give you their email, don’t use that as an excuse to call them or chat on the phone, which could also be unprofessional. Instead, when reaching out for help, please send a short introduction about why you’re contacting them and the reason for speaking with them.
Follow Instructions and Be Quick to Reply
Experts know that they may get a lot of inquiries from people looking for business advisory, so they’ve probably set up some process to handle those requests. Follow any instructions they give you about how to approach them and how long it will take them to reply- and then be quick to reply yourself. If they say they’ll get back to you in two or three days, but it takes you a week to respond, the conversation will get off on the wrong foot right from the start.
Understand Your Role as A Student
It’s very exciting to find an expert willing to give you their time, but it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one they help. Don’t assume that you’ll be their top priority- after all, there are probably dozens of other people they’re already helping, which means your requests will probably come at the end of the line. So before getting into any details about what you’re struggling with, take time to build a good rapport. Start by showing your understanding of their busy schedule and your appreciation for helping you.
Go into Every Conversation with a Goal in Mind- and Share That Goal with Them Upfront
It’s fine to be nervous when seeking help from an expert, but you shouldn’t let that nervousness paralyze you. If your goal is to learn from someone who’s already succeeded in your industry, knowing what questions to ask will help you get the most out of your conversations. And since experts are busy people, it’s best to come prepared with a list of questions and share that list with them upfront in your messages. Showing them what you’ve already done to prepare makes them more likely to give you their time, but it’ll also help you get the most out of each conversation.
As you can see, business success isn’t just found in starting a business. It is equally important to get experts on board and establish some community that may help keep it afloat. Applying the above points will only increase your chance of success with your business idea.