Targeting and Natural Human Relationship Building

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690472_bulls_eye.gifI wrote last week about following up with inside connections in response to the following question from Chris Morton:

I applied for a job I found on Dice yesterday (sent to “jobs@…”) and have now identified about a dozen 2nd and 3rd degree contacts at that company who are in my network.

To increase my odds of getting an interview, what sort of guerilla marketing campaign might I wage, if any? I had thought something along the lines of, “I’ve applied for X job, any assistance you may be able to render, …”

Your thoughts?

There was another great reply from Ray Cobel of Cobel Target Marketing, which I repost with permission here:

I don’t think the strategy you suggest will get you very far,
because it is essentially the business equivalent of the following

Hi, I want to marry your mother; so, even though you:

  • Don’t know me
  • Haven’t a clue as to whether I’d be a good fit in your family
  • Have no personal motivation to further my cause
  • Think I’m rude for even asking

Will you tell me how to get her to return my calls? Oh, and will you
put in a good word for me too?

I suggest being more targeted and to demonstrate more alignment with
the rules of natural human relationship building.


Learn everything you can about:

  • The company and its mission
  • The department and its mission
  • The people in the company who are your contacts
  • In what department is the job you are targeting?
  • Do any of your LinkedIn contacts work in that department?
    • If so:
      • Tell them you are applying for a job as xxx; and your profile is on LinkedIn.
      • Ask them how you can learn more about the specific challenges facing that job
    • If not:
      • Ask for a referral to someone who might be able to answer the question above.
      • Then pose the question to the referred person (and don’t forget to mention who referred you).
    • Follow-up with personal thank you emails to everyone who helps.
    • Mention the specific thing they did or said that was helpful.
    • Offer to return the favor.


The “Hi! Will you marry me?” rarely works. Normally we court through
repeated contacts; wherein we make a series of escalating and
alternating revelations and offers. You know:

  • The first conversation is a mutual sharing and search for commonality. If some is found, then;
  • An offer is made to spend more quality time on mutual sharing and search for deeper commonality as in, “Would you like to meet for coffee?”
  • If that goes well then another offer is made to spend even more time engaging in even more sharing and searching in pursuit of even deeper commonality as in, “Would you like to do lunch?”

This pattern repeats itself until finally the question; “Will you marry
me?” isn’t really such a big question anymore. In fact, the answer is
almost a foregone conclusion.

For some reason people seem to think that, in business, some other
human relationship building process applies. The reality is there is
only one process, the rules are always the same; just the packaging is different.

The essence of the relationship building rules is:

  • You’ve got to make repeated contacts
  • In these contacts you’ve got to establish some kind of mutual interest and benefit
  • The contacts must be conducted in such a way as to continually build your credibility, confidence and trust
  • The goal of these contacts is to make and keep commitments; hopefully escalating series of commitments that ultimately lead to your job.

As an independent marketing consultant for over 16 years who has
won “jobs” with several hundred clients; I can tell you that targeting
and respect for natural human relationship building processes works.

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