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How to make friends with a powerful, influential Lady Boss.

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I will never forget the first time that Martha Beck—as in, THE Martha Beck, Oprah’s personal life coach, world-famous psychology expert—agreed to let me interview her.

I was writing a column for my local newspaper about how life coaching works. I had just finished my training to become a coach, myself, through Martha’s training program. Even though we sort of had a connection already, I was very nervous to approach her and request such a big favor. I mean, she barely knew me.

I knew she was a busy Lady Boss juggling a million plates in the air. So when she said, “Sure, you can interview me for your column” I was elated. I did not want to fuck this up.

Then I fucked it up.

LOL.

On the day of our interview, I called Martha 5 minutes early. I don’t know why. Maybe I thought that being early was “polite” or something. But Martha was not impressed.

She sounded like she was in the middle of walking her dog or something and she said, “What time were we scheduled to chat? Don’t I have 5 more minutes until our appointment?” She wasn’t snarky but her tone said: “Respect my time. Call me when you’re supposed to. Not sooner, not later.”

I blurted out an apology, hung up, and called her back at the appointed time. She was back in her office and she was ready to begin.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: when you’re trying to make friends with a powerful, influential Lady Boss, do not undervalue or misuse her time. A lot can happen in 5 minutes in the life of a Lady Boss.

Since that phone-bungle, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to entice people to say “Yes” to my requests even more consistently. I’ve learned how to be gracious and punctual. I’ve persuaded Lady Bosses to invite me into the pages of Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and O: The Oprah Magazine, even if they barely knew me before. I’ve had beautiful, genuine friendships emerge after meeting women online or at seminars. Basically: I’ve learned how to become a successful connector.

If you want to learn how to make friends with a powerful, influential Lady Boss (someone like Dr. Martha Beck, or someone on that level) here is my hard-won advice for you:

1. Prove that you’re already connected.

The very first time that you email, call, or speak to the Lady Boss, find a way to prove that you are someone who can be trusted. Say something to prove that you’re already connected in some way. Something like…

“You don’t know me, but we actually share the same web designer…”

“I’ve followed your work for years and I just completed your latest e-course…”

“You might not remember me, but we met one year ago at a writing seminar…”

“I attended your conference this past winter. I was the gal in the front row with the hot pink hat… which you pointed out from the stage!”

Seeing this, your Lady Boss will be much more likely to continue reading your email. She’ll be happy to know, “OK, this is someone who is already familiar with my work. Someone I can probably trust.”

2. Make a fun request, not a groan-inducing request.7f05b89ea78e2b8e5aae1dae75cdf674

This is an example of a fun request:

“Hey! I just finished reading your latest book and I’m in tears. So amazing. 

I’m a painter and I took a few quotes from your book and I turned those quotes into watercolor-letterpress art. [see attached]

With your permission, may I share those paintings on my blog and Instagram? I will credit you for contributing the words that inspired me, of course!”

Reading that, the Lady Boss you’re contacting will think, “OMG! You took my words and you made beautiful art and you want to share it online and all I have to do is say ‘Yes’? That’s all you want from me? Well, HELL YES! Of course! And you better believe, I’ll be sharing your artwork with my own audience too. I’m honored.”

This is an example of a groan-inducing request:

“Hey! I just finished reading your latest book and I’m in tears. So amazing. 

May I interview you for my Telesummit on Women in Leadership? All I need is 60 minutes of your time via Skype plus your bio, headshots, and your commitment to promote the Summit to your mailing list at least 3 times over the course of the launch period, which is March 29 – April 15. Plus, you must prove that you have a minimum of 15,000 followers. Let me know if you’re down!”

Reading that, the Lady Boss you’re contacting will think, “I AM NOT DOWN. That sounds incredibly time-consuming and also, I don’t even know you. No thanks. Delete.”

3. Be gracious and generous.

If she says “Yes” to your request, be gracious. If she says “No” to your request, be gracious. If she says, “Not now, but try me again in two months after my book is out,” be gracious. Remember your basic manners: say “Please,” “Thank you” and send a handwritten note or a gift after your first connection.

Even better, still? Don’t make any type of request right away. Instead, do a favor for HER instead of requesting a favor for YOURSELF.

Imagine if you wrote your favorite Lady Boss an email to introduce yourself and say…

“You don’t know me but I’m a fan of your work. Big fan. I happen to know the lady who runs the [name of industry award] and I just called her to nominate you. I really hope you win. You deserve it. That’s all. Just wanted to let you know.”

THAT is an email that would make any Lady Boss sit up, pay attention, and feel truly grateful. That’s a powerful first impression to make. Will she remember your name the next time you write or call? Oh yes. She will.

I don’t believe in dividing women into categories: busy / not busy, important / not important, powerful / not powerful. We’re ALL busy, important, and powerful.

But the reality is that certain women are much harder to reach and harder to impress than others, and certain ultra-busy Lady Bosses needed to handled carefully if you’re serious about making a connection.

Show the same level of respect, graciousness, and generosity that you would hope to receive yourself. And no matter what happens—if she wants to connect or not—don’t take it personally or get bent out of shape about it. Just dust yourself off and move on. After all, you’ve got your own Lady Boss Fempire to run.

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PS. Did you enjoy these tips on how to connect with powerful Lady Bosses and make a great first impression? There’s more where that came from…

Join me for GO GET IT!, my newest coaching program, and learn how to connect with all types of people who can unlock doors for you. You can also sign up for a free Q&A call happening at 12pm CT tomorrow here!

As part of this program, you’ll be guided along as you contact 21 different people to make a specific request or juicy proposition. After making 21 new connections, your career / business will NOT be the same. Get the full program info HERE and enroll asap because this party is starting soon. April 4th is Day 1. See you there!

xoxo, Susan

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