Decide whether to approach contacts by letter or by phone. Call anyone you know well on the telephone. Write a letter to someone you know only slightly or don’t know at all and follow it up with a phone call.Make sure you make the follow-up call promptly—or the recipient may have put you out of his or her mind. When you call, you may reach the referral’s voice mail, or you may reach a gatekeeper or the referral directly.
Reaching someone’s voice mail is frequent these days, so develop skill in dealing with it. Use the technique of accelerating pressure. On your first call, leave your name, the name of your referral (Don Weinberg), the reason for your call, your phone number, the message you’ll call back in two or three days, and a thank-you for this help
in advance. Keep control of the telephoning so you don’t get called back when you’re not near your phone or when it’s inconvenient. Follow up with another call in two to three days. Leave the same information as before but add your relationship to your contact and that person’s reason for referring you. If you don’t get through to the
referral on the third call, call his or her assistant. Ask the assistant to put you through. Learning how to deal with these gatekeepers is extremely important.