Advice for Contacting Busy People

I’m just a faceless, voiceless entity that will answer your questions and make you feel good.

If you are trying to get a hold of someone who is busy, it can be difficult. This article has some advice for contacting busy people. Read more in detail here: i know you are busy email sample.

Let’s get right down to business, shall we?

It might be tough to connect with busy individuals.

You’re familiar with the procedure. You send an email and then sit back and wait. And then there’s waiting. And then there’s more waiting. You attempt again after receiving no response. It’s the same old story. You eventually give up.

You’re not alone if this sounds similar. Most guys have struggled to connect with someone who is very busy at some time in their career. Contacting a busy individual, whether it’s a prospective employer, a potential mentor, a dream customer, or even simply to connect with a lady so you may ask her out on a date, can be challenging.

Does this imply that you’ve given up? No way. There’s always a valid reason why people are so busy. It’s because they’re successful, and they’re successful because they’re clever and well-connected, with access to resources and information that may make all the difference to you…if you can only break through.

However, if you’re like most guys, you’ve failed to find out how to make that first contact. What is the best way to catch the person’s attention? How should you say it and what should you say it with? What do you do first? Should you pursue them if they don’t respond? New forms of communication, such as social media, Skype, text messaging, and blog comments, have further complicated and complicated the situation.

Throughout my career, I’ve tried almost every method for reaching out to busy individuals. I’ve also spent the last two years contacting very busy entrepreneurs and writers to invite them to come on my show. I’ve experimented with tactics that have shown to be effective as well as ones that are certain to fail. I’ve included the best of what has worked for me in the list below.

How to draft an email that gets a response has already been discussed on the Art of Manliness. However, in this essay, I’d want to discuss a more general strategy that can (and often is) deployed through email but is also medium-agnostic. Email is the method I’ve used the most and it’s still effective. However, if appropriate, you should also explore additional tactics such as face-to-face and social media. You’ll even need to be willing to send a good old-fashioned letter to reach AoM’s reclusive McKays! (Word on the street is that if they receive too much snail mail, they’ll start demanding homing pigeon messages.)

Although connecting with a busy individual might seem like a daunting job, the benefits of success can frequently be game-changing. All you have to do now is think about how you’re going to make your initial move.

Put yourself in their shoes for a moment.

To begin, keep in mind that busy individuals get hundreds, if not thousands, of requests for assistance, support, or resources each week. Unsurprisingly, a huge number of them have the same appearance and sound. “Are you able to assist me?” “Do you mind if I pick your brain?” “I’ve got a fantastic suggestion that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!”


Don’t be deceived. You may believe your request is unique or really important to the busy person, but it’s likely that they’ve previously heard it (A new software that will help you be more productive? Certainly not!) They’re going to be a bit nervous, of course.

Before you even consider reaching out, you must first correct your mentality. Even if you have the best of intentions and believe your request is simple, don’t hold your breath for a response. People who are “busy” by definition are unable to react to every question. They aren’t being impolite; they are just prioritizing. They wouldn’t be as successful as they are if they didn’t.

“If you can recognize that busy people must triage in order to be productive and have a life, and you can appreciate them for making priorities,” says Steve Pavlina, author of Personal Development for Smart People. “You’ll have a far better opportunity at creating a bridge with them.”

Here are eight suggestions for reaching out to a busy person:

1. Make an effort to connect before requesting anything.

In your initial effort to contact a busy individual, the worst thing you can do is ask them for anything. Reaching out and contacting the individual long before you ask for anything is a far better method.

One method is to use social media. Look for inventive ways to quote, feature, or highlight the busy person in a blog post or article you’re creating, and then share it with them on social media afterward. A single tweet might be enough to “oil the gears” and start the dialogue.

Continue to strengthen your connection by sharing their work, promoting them, or just providing them pertinent materials. To do so, you must first get to know the busy person and learn what they are working on or where they may need assistance. Before you rush in and start asking for favors, be patient and allow the bond to evolve naturally. Don’t start building the bridge until you’ve finished burning it down.

Another method is to check through your current network to see if you have any connections to that individual. Is it a friend? Are you looking for a business partner? Anything that may be utilized to demonstrate that you and the other person have anything in common will be beneficial.

“One method to attract someone’s attention is to have someone else introduce you,” explains Lynne Waymon, co-author of Make Your Contacts Count. “Find someone in common with you both and ask, ‘Will you introduce me?’”

2. Communicate in a concise manner

“This is just a piece of advise.” When writing a letter to a busy guy, never write on both sides of the page.” –Jack London, March 24, 1913, letter to Louis Stevens

Put your life narrative on hold for now. The shorter your message is, the more likely you are to get a response. And the more essential it is not to waste someone’s time, the busier they are.


To begin, always begin your letter with a relevant, concise, and to-the-point subject line. The receiver should be able to identify right away why they should open your message, how they know you, or preferably both.

“Are you able to assist me?” What are you dealing with? Is this your company? Is it time to do your arithmetic homework? There’s about as much worth in this as there is in a pair of plastic crutches. You don’t have to be clairvoyant to figure out that this one will end up in the oval file.

A better topic line might be “Podcast Appearance to Promote Your New Book.” You are far more likely to have your email read if you explicitly state what you want and, more importantly, how it will benefit the other person.

Being concise also entails leaving out anything that isn’t absolutely required. It’s OK to start with a few of sentences discussing your connection/affinity with the individual. “I love what you do and have been reading your magazine for five years,” or “Watching your TED presentation convinced me to change my major to biology.” A little flattery can get your email off to a good start and help you create rapport. However, your introduction should be no more than two lines long.

Keep the main body of your email as short as possible; your pitch should be no more than five words long. You don’t need to provide your 100-page business plan or a dozen photos of your prototype until you’ve defined exactly what you want. Remember to be considerate of a busy person’s time and wait for their approval before providing follow-up information if they are interested.

3. Conduct preliminary research and ask specific questions.

“I despise being asked for broad counsel because I have to choose between two options: (1) create two or three volumes to deal with the responses, or (2) dampen the responses by offering just a few brief phrases.

What I mean is that you may approach me for specific counsel at any moment, and I will gladly put myself at your disposal.

Please keep in mind that I write hundreds of letters to unknown correspondents every year. Please keep in mind that (1) I do not like writing for a career… (2) As a result, after I’ve finished all of the novels I’ve written and am working on every day, I’d chop off my fingers and toes to avoid writing…

Anyway, please keep in mind that you may contact me at any moment for SPECIFIC PARTICULAR assistance on any topic.” -Jack London, April 9, 1913, letter to Cordie Ingram

When you contact a busy individual, be prepared to ask extremely precise inquiries. You only have one chance at this, so make the questions you ask the most metaphorical bang for your buck; make them ones for which you can’t get answers anywhere else and for which you require the busy person’s unique perspective/connections/input.


So, first, do as much research as you can on the answers to the list of questions you have in mind, and see what you can learn from more easily accessible sources. You must demonstrate to the busy person that you have completed your assignment. “It’s remarkable how many would-be mentees or beneficiaries approach busy people for information Google could offer in 20 seconds,” says Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek. “That puts you on the forbidden list,” Ferriss says.

You should not only do research before approaching a busy individual, but you should also endeavor to get started on your project/business before approaching them for assistance. Brett McKay of AoM states, “Never ask a busy individual to ‘pick their brain’ before you start working on your project or concept.” “Rather, wait till it’s well started, you’re right in the midst of it, and you run into a particular issue.” When it comes to beginning anything new, there is always a lot of advice accessible. So have your “Phone-a-Friend” number handy for when you’ve done all you can on your own and hit a brick wall you can’t seem to break through.

Because the sort of question you should ask depends on your scenario, it’s simpler to clarify which inquiries you shouldn’t ask. The following are some instances of generic queries you should avoid:

  • I’m not sure where to begin with . What would you advise me to do?
  • Do you believe applies to my situation?
  • I’m not sure why I’m having trouble understanding . Do you have any recommendations for me?

Instead of asking broad questions, discuss two or three distinct possibilities you’re contemplating and seek comments on this precise decision.

When you follow this technique, McKay adds, you can “take advantage of your chance and ask better questions about particular issues rather than simply bombarding someone with generic inquiries.” “Take advantage of the time you have with a busy individual by asking the highest-leverage questions you can.”

4. Make it such that they may say yes or no to your pitch.

Make your pitch as clear as possible if you have a question for a busy individual about whether or not they want to collaborate with you on anything. To put it another way, don’t ask an open-ended inquiry like, “Would you want to collaborate with us in any way?” It’s not the busy person’s duty to come up with methods for you two to collaborate. It is up to you to come up with a precise proposal. A proposition that a busy person may accept or reject.

5. Make an appearance in person

Consider how many sales calls you get or how much junk mail you get in a week. The vast majority of these files are removed before being opened. The many requests that busy individuals get often meet the same fate.


Consider what you would do if that same individual was standing there in front of you, pleading with you. Is it really that simple to disregard them now?

According to Waymon, if you want to engage with a busy individual, find out what groups or organizations they belong to and see how you can provide value to those groups. Perhaps you might join a committee they’re on or volunteer to assist with a cause they care about.

“Studies indicate that it takes an average of six interactions with someone before they recognize you and add you to their mental Rolodex,” adds Waymon. “As a result, committee work and small group activities are effective strategies to maintain communication.”

Being a member of the same team might help you get your foot in the door, but you must be ready to seize the moment. “Always have a plan.” Think of three or four topics you’d want to learn more about before the meeting. Also, be prepared to discuss three or four things that interest you – personally or professionally,” Waymon advises. “Because people want to conduct business with individuals they can trust, your overarching objective should always be to educate others to trust you.”

6. Continue to Add Value

When you contribute something of value, your chances of acquiring what you want improve dramatically. Many individuals struggle to come up with anything “valuable” to contribute, yet the possibilities are really endless.

Helping a busy individual advertise their new book, project, company, or event is one of the finest ways to add value to their life. This may be accomplished in a number of ways:

  • Create an Amazon, Yelp, or other review site account and leave a review.
  • Include the busy person in a blog post, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.
  • Offer to connect the busy individual with someone who can help them. However, make sure you ask beforehand.
  • If you don’t have a podcast, record a basic interview with the individual using a free service like and submit it to your blog or SoundCloud (also free). Keep in mind that if your target audience is tiny, the busy individual will most likely do a cost-benefit analysis and conclude that the quantity of marketing you can provide is insufficient to compensate for the value of their limited time.
  • Create a Click to Tweet link that explains why you like someone’s work and send it to all of your friends.

Even if you don’t have a blog or podcast, you can use the camera integrated into your laptop to film a short video and submit it to YouTube, where millions of people will view it before moving on to footage of a cat playing the piano.

Bottom line: Figure out what they need or with whom they want to connect, then make it happen.

7. Make a strong statement about yourself

When making a request, the tone in which you deliver it is just as crucial as the message itself. The author of The 11 Laws of Likability, Michelle Lederman, discusses how to approach the topic from the “middle ground.” According to Lederman, you should come out as “not passive, nor aggressive, but forceful.” Think self-assured, but not arrogant. And not in the least meek.


Lederman also advises pursuing the “convenient ask.” Make it as simple as possible for them to accept the invitation. Give the busy individual particular days and times to pick from, for example. Offer to meet them at their preferred place. Anything you can do to make the request easier to understand would be beneficial.

Finally, Lederman suggests instilling a feeling of “scarcity.” Set a deadline for a blog post or article, so that if the busy person wants to be included, they must react by a certain date. Due to the difficulty of deferring these sorts of requests till later, having a deadline evokes more answers (which usually results in the busy person forgetting to come back to the request).

8. Keep in touch (Within Reason)

So, what should you do if you don’t hear back? Should you follow up, and if so, how should you do it? “I believe that following up is the key to developing lasting connections,” says Jeff Goins, author of The Art of Work. However, according to Goins, you must be cautious about how soon or excitedly you follow up. “Being overly forceful might be harmful. However, if you’re too relaxed, you risk missing out on a chance.”

Goins says he’ll contact them once and then follow up a week later if he doesn’t hear back. He’ll “follow up after another week or two with a ‘hey if I don’t hear back from, I won’t bother you again’ email and then move on” if he hasn’t heard from by then. If Goins is really committed, he claims he will attempt an entirely new strategy. “I may attempt a different approach to building trust with the individual, such as finding a method to see them in person, but I won’t repeat the same approach that failed before.”

Brett McKay and Kate McKay share a similar idea. It is recommended that you follow up two weeks after sending the first email and then again six months afterwards. “Sometimes the busy person will be in a new phase or season of busyness,” Brett explains, “where their circumstances have altered and they’ll be more responsive to the call out.”

If you wish to check in after a week or two, use the following script:

Hello, George. I just wanted to make one last follow-up on my earlier email in case it got lost in your inbox. 

I won’t be offended if you aren’t interested. Please let me know if you are interested. If the time of this email does not work for you, I will send a courteous follow-up email.


You are considerate of their time while also balancing the chance that they didn’t read your email the first time around by expressing in your message that you are merely following up as a courtesy and that the busy person need not answer if they genuinely are not interested.


Begin making contact with busy people.

Remember that busy individuals aren’t always selfish or uncaring; in fact, I’ve discovered that some of the busiest people are also the most generous. They do, however, want to make the most of their time. Remember that the time they devote to you is time they would otherwise devote to their own enterprises or to their family. So reach out to them in a manner that respects this fact and interferes as little as possible with their routine.

You should not be scared by the whole procedure, which may seem overwhelming and unnecessarily complicated. Connecting with busy people is a talent that can be developed with time, just like any other obstacle. It’s also worthwhile to put out the effort.

“Don’t undervalue your worth to others,” advises Lederman. “You have a lot of stuff you don’t understand you can offer to the table.” A little research goes a long way.”

Do you need further assistance? Here are 5 of my favorite email templates for reaching out to busy folks.

Do you need further assistance? Here are 5 of my favorite email templates for reaching out to busy folks.

John Corcoran is a former Clinton White House writer and the founder of Smart Business Revolution, a website where he offers tips on how to increase your income by improving your business connections.



i can well understand your busy schedule, and appreciate the effort you have taken for writing back.” The “i can well understand your busy schedule, and appreciate the effort you have taken for writing back” is a sentence that a person might use when contacting someone who is very busy.

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