During her Social Capitalist Interview, multi-hyphenate Christine Comaford (author, entrepreneur, consultant, coach…) shared the secrets from her blog post titled: “I Stalked Steve Jobs and How to Get a Meeting with Any VIP.”
“It’s not that hard to get a meeting with any VIP. The quick recipe is to ask for five minutes of their time in exchange for you giving five hours to their favorite nonprofit.
So you’ve got to do some homework. When you first connect with them, send a letter. I prefer a letter that’s typed and sent via FedEx. One of my clients, a huge high-level executive at Deloitte just used this approach. He finally got through to someone he’s been trying to reach for three months.
You figure out what it is that you want: I want five minutes of advice from Joe Blow. So then you send a letter, one page or less. Don’t ramble on. Just say, ‘Wow, I really admire the accomplishments that you’ve made, Joe Blow, in your life. I want to do that too. I would love to ask you for five minutes of advice.’
Don’t ask for anything else, ask for advice. It triggers their ego and their emotional state. ‘I would like five minutes of advice from you and in exchange I’ll give five hours to your favorite nonprofit. I’ve noticed you’ve done great things with American Cancer Society,’ blah blah blah. Short and sweet.
The letter has to be heartfelt and genuine, OK? Really heartfelt. You have to genuinely care. Make this letter a work of art.
Send it via FedEx and then start calling their assistant. The FedExes and the phone calls to the assistant continue until you get the meeting. You call the assistant at the beginning of the day or the end of the day when they’re more likely for you to take the call.
Great, so you get the meeting. Bring a timer to show that you’re respectful. Set the timer for five minutes so that they’ll really get that you’ve got prepared questions that you want to ask them. After five minutes, you’re going to leave.
Timer goes off, you start to leave – they always keep you there longer. And generally what happens is that you’ve forged an alliance with someone because you really came to them for advice. They got to be big, you were small. They got to be big and up on the mountain in giving you advice, and now they’re going to follow up to make sure that you took that advice.”
For many more tactics and tips from Christine, read the full transcript of her interview or listen to the audio recording here.