Yes – Some people will be eager to talk with you and will quickly agree. They will email or call with a date that might be later in the week or even in the next month. Book the appointment!
Later – Some people will be inclined to talk with you, but not at that moment. They likely have a project with a pressing deadline, they’re about to go on vacation, etc.
Some will suggest that you follow up with them in a few weeks, or a month or more. Because you are in a hurry and want to talk with them ASAP, you might be disappointed. Don’t be. These people have responded positively to your request and want to help you when they can.
Mark it on your calendar and follow up by the date requested, using a short email like this:
Thanks again for agreeing last (week/month) to give me some career advice on (fill in the topics you requested).
I’m wondering if there might be a time we could talk next week? If not, no worries… we can talk whenever the time is right for you.
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
[Link to Your LinkedIn Profile]
Misunderstanding – Some people will tell you that they don’t have a job opening for you. These people want to help, but they’ve misunderstood your request.
Start by thanking them for following up with you and then explain that you don’t want to talk with them about a job opening, but instead you’d like their career advice. In this instance, many people will agree to set up an informational interview with you.
No – Every once in awhile you’ll get a taut message from someone saying that he or she isn’t interested in talking, or that they don’t do networking. It’s about them and not you. Don’t take it personally, and just move on.
Too Busy – Some people will email back that they are too busy to talk with you now. These people are suggesting they are open to helping you, but just can’t do it right now. Use this sample response to keep the door open and get the advice and assistance you need when the time is better for them:
I totally understand and I do appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. If you can spare a few minutes sometime, perhaps you could answer these two questions in a quick phone call or by email:
- Question 1
- Question 2